More on Rome…

…hoping you’re not getting too bored! If you are, please ignore…

We spent part of a day at the Colosseum.

colloseum

It was really interesting. And really full! Despite this photo, taken by Beloved Other, it was heaving. Which presumably is as near as I am going to get to the full historic experience.

Many – indeed, most – of those who were there spent a great deal of time taking photos, and in particular selfies. I got asked to move at one point so that somebody could take their photo at a very exact angle. And many people simply stopped where they were to take the picture, which could make negotiating the crowds on the stairs  quite hard.

I was surprised at my own reaction to the place and to the photographing. I started by thinking I was simply being inappropriately irritable and made edgy by the crowds, and then realised that what was actually bothering was my overheated historic imagining. I was all too aware that this is a place built for entertainment based on killing people. And for all of us – and I am well aware that I was enjoying myself – we were somehow not in touch with that. There was something trivializing about wandering around the at-least-in-memory-blood-stained place taking photos of ourselves (though I disclaim the selfie! No photos of me are taken unless under extreme provocation!).

And yet I don’t know what else we would do. And as Remembrance Sunday approaches, I am still struggling with it. What and how do we remember violence, horror and cruelty – and what do we do with the memory?

No answers – just hoping I don’t forget the questions….

 

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