Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Creative Olympics

Yesterday details were revealed of the opening ceremony for the Olympic 2012 games in London. Film director, Danny Boyle, has been hired as artistic director for the project which involves countryside scenery, farm animals, a village green with a cricket game as well as a replica of Glastonbury Tor.

The ceremony, which has music created specifically by Underworld, will also feature "real clouds that will be hanging over the stadium. Work that out if you can. We know we're an island culture and an island climate. One of these clouds will provide rain on the evening, just in case it doesn't rain."

I have found the reveal of the ceremony fascinating and creatively brilliant. I am not someone who is excited by the Olympics coming to London this year, but this particular event has me fascinated. The choice of bringing the countryside to London is brilliant, it brings together what makes Britian so unique and beautiful. I might be biased, being a farmers daughter, but I think people forget how much of Great Britain is farm land and how beautiful it is to drive through. A few months ago, I traveled from the south coast of England to the north coast of Wales, and the scenery in parts blew me away.Whilst the focus so far with the games has been about London and the Olympic Park, it is about time that we celebrate the places outside of London that people do not know enough about. I met someone from a London suburb a few years ago who had never seen a cow in person before.

Danny Boyle is bringing to light the parts of Britain that many people do not appreciate enough. Many farmers are struggling to manage through tough economical climates, with many dairy farmers closing every year, and it is key to try and support our country traders that have been going for generations. To bring the home nations together on the night, they will be each be 'represented by Maypoles topped with a thistle, a leek, a rose and flax.'

With time to collect newspaper and online comments from journalists and public alike, the BBC have written a follow up article which has gathered a lot of criticism for the ceremony. The Times, Daily Mail and Daily Express have all reported negative ascpects which I think is unfair. Whilst the country is growing with new airport terminals(Heathrow), wind turbines and infamous amount of queuing(be it in shops, in the car or at airport security), we are a nation of famers when you go out of the cities. Whilst another journalist, Grace Dent of the Independant, reported that Britain was "..teens drunk on cider, petrol vigilantes... that's the real countryside, Danny Boyle.." Yes our country has a booze obsession, an influx of teenage mothers and not to mention drugs, bin collections(lack of) and immigrant (surprised Daily Mail didn't pick up on that one). But let us focus on the positives shall we- whilst we are losing out our town highstreets to the big companies, and green spaces to gysies and new housing estates, we are still a great (dying breed) of farmers and country folk.
And to anyone who believes that it looks like where the Teletubbies live, please don't be so fickle. Green is the colour of our beautiful countryside.

Opening Ceremony Details at BBC, including video.

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