an interdisciplinary exploration of the concept of three-dimensionality and its impact on the arts and sciences;
an innovative project which puts the minds of the 21st century in touch with those of early practitioners exploring three-dimensionality;
a year-long series of exhibitions, events, public talks, gallery shows, and academic symposia intended to incite dialogue between artists, art and book historians, mathematicians, astronomers, geometers, earth scientists, botanists, chemists, etc.
Reproduced with the permission of the Archives nationales d’outre-mer, Aix-en-Provence, France
Henri Gaden was a French Colonial officer, who lived in West Africa for 45 years. An ethnographer, linguist and gifted photographer, Gaden captured on camera a rich variety of encounters with Africa – from landscapes, architecture and trade to military campaigns and colonial life at numerous outposts. He also documented everyday village life, local music, dance and ritual. Gaden’s striking photographic images, exhibited for the first time at MUSA, provide rare insights into French West Africa in colonial times and the remarkable people he met.
The East Sides of cities such as London, Vancouver, New York and Paris have historically been the poorest. Some, but not all, have gentrified more recently, and this gentrification has been at the centre of media attention. These observations uncover two questions. Why were these neighbourhoods poor to begin with, and why did some gentrify while others did not?
In the summer of 2016, Maneesh Kuruvilla, a Postgraduate Researcher in the School of Psychology & Neuroscience, won the St Andrews final of Three Minute Thesis and was awarded £500 to run a public engagement with research project.
Dr Sabine Hyland‘s fieldwork in the Andes has led to the first decipherment of a structural element on khipus (the ancient Andean writing system using knotted cords) in almost 100 years!
A khipu is a series of coloured, knotted strings made out of various animal fur and fabric. In the past, scholars claimed that khipus were not an example of writing and that they were merely used as memory aides which recorded only numbers.
Funded by National Geographic, Dr. Hyland journeyed to a remote Andean village to study a unique hybrid alphabetic/khipu text. Her fieldwork has provided proof to an alternative theory that khipus conveyed more complex meaning and could be linked to a form of writing.
Dr Hyland’s research has led to various outcomes including a book, The Chankas and the Priest (Penn State Press 2016), the first historical study of the Chankas ever written. In the words of the Director of Tourism and Culture for this region of Peru, her “book is the first publication which addresses Chanka history using primary source material. As a result, for the first time we can see our ancestors humanised – no longer ‘enemies of the Inka’ or ‘bellicose warriors’. Dr Hyland’s research and publications give us a fuller sense of who we are as a people, and of the importance of valorizing, preserving, and celebrating the Peruvian cultural heritage.
In the process, Dr Hyland has not only helped the people of Peru learn about anthropology and the importance of cultural patrimony but has trained and inspired many Peruvian students to have successful careers in tourism, history, archaeology, and related fields… we are also using her data to design exhibits for a new museum that is opening in Andahuaylas City this year.”
Her research on the ancient khipus has been featured in governmental publications for school children, distributed into every school and library of the Cusco region (pop = 2 million).
Dr Hyland’s research on khipus was made into a National Geographic documentary for the Ancient X Files series, called Decoding the Incas. In the research for this film, she was able to decipher the meaning of several elements on khipus, the first such decipherment in 100 years. Since viewing her film, leaders of other indigenous villages have invited Dr Hyland to study their khipus, previously kept secret from outsiders. The Indian authorities of one such community, Collata, have recently thanked her for “helping them to gain invaluable insights into the worth and meaning of their cultural heritage”.
The research of the Sea Mammal Research Unit (SMRU), on behalf of NERC, has been instrumental in identifying protected haul-out sites for seals. The recently approved Protection of Seals (Designation of Haul-out Sites) (Scotland) Act 2014 designates a total of 194 individual seal haul-out sites around Scotland, at which it will be an offence to harass seals when they come ashore to rest, moult or breed. The new legislation comes into force on 30 September 2014.