Some 150 years ago, a host of European institutions called museums created a whole load of problems for themselves. They decided to establish themselves as the custodians of truth. Housing their collections behind enormous classical edifices intended to overwhelm their visitors, the museums established their authority through intimidating architecture and narratives supporting the pre-eminence of Western Civilisation.
In 2016, it is difficult to find a single one of these intitutions not struggling to engage a people who resent their buildings and no longer believe their stories. As the wealth of empire dries up, in the midst of economic crisis and slashed public funding, the western museum is dying.
Orbital is committed to not making the same mistake twice. Every effort has been made to include stories covering a wide range of people groups, narratives and worldviews from around the globe.
This is not easy, and is made more difficult by history’s failure to schedule its most interesting events at convenient weekly intervals. And the hegemony has already done its fair share of damage. Stories about events in the United States in 1963 are far easier to come across than those from Senegal or Egypt.
In an effort to make this website as good as it can be, everything has been left open for you to engage with. Know a good story we have missed? Contact us here. Get the uneasy feeling that our stories are too predictable, or that there just aren’t enough stories about people like you or the place you’re from? Comment on any of our articles and we’ll do our best to change in order to reach you.
This time next week we’ll be underway with stories about Congolese revolutionaries, 73-year-old pirates and a US senator who didn’t go to high school.
This is about the people. The revolution goes on and on.