Late in June 2015, I visited London for work. I’d visited London almost one decade earlier, having just submitted my PhD thesis, and wanting to stay busy while I waited for the results. Back then, I did what people do in their mid-20s, lots of partying and lots of touristy things. In this most recent trip, I invested in longer visits to art galleries and museums.
On the first weekend I arrived, the Pride in London event celebrated lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTI) communities. The city looked absolutely gorgeous and the crowds were lovely and friendly.
It was exciting to walk past Australia House (the High Commission of Australia) every day on my way to work, but especially upon my arrival, where there was a protest against the Australian Government’s unlawful attempt to push over 2,000 Indigenous Australians from their homes in remote regions of Western Australia. (I’d written about this in March 2015 https://goo.gl/ERU3aO)
Art and Culture
I’ll try to do a separate post on the Tate Britain, which was breathtaking but the collection was very much focused on male artists throughout the ages. Conversely, my favourite place by far was the Tate Modern, which I had to visit multiple times to see their interesting exhibits, especially two focused on women artists, avant-garde sculptor Barbara Hepworth and abstract painters Agnes Martin and Sonia Delaunay. The National Portrait Gallery was another big treat, with a special exhibition on scientists and activists – see a forthcoming post!
The Borough Market was a true delight – the Ethiopian stand had the most succulent food I had in my entire trip. I went back twice just for their food!
The Natural History Museum was wondrous. I definitely needed more than one day there. I spent most of the time in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition.
My favourite place to walk was London Borough of Southwark but Trafalgar Square was also a frequent weekend haunt.
I injured myself early in the trip which made sightseeing incredibly difficult, but I persevered. I have never been so happy that benches were invented!
Have you visited London? What’s your favourite landmark, gallery or museum?
#sociology #visualsociology #london #art #museum #lgbtqi #sociologyofart