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Recreations of the Tower of Babel

March 21, 2016

Whilst researching the myth of the Tower of Babel I came across Barnarby Barford’s recreation of the tower using 3000 miniature bone china shops for a sculptural installation at London’s V&A museum in 2015.

Barford’s Tower invites visitors to consider the consequences on society of modern consumer habits. My own version consists of expanding my knowledge of languages in preparation for a future European road trip.

The original tower or ziggurat in the town of Babylon was said to consist of 7 tiers which corresponded to the 7 spheres. At the time of its construction people all spoke the one language. As a result of its destruction they began to speak in many different tongues.

Several world myths tell of towers or holy mountains which have either been destroyed by God or eroded by wind and rain. The result is always a confusion of sounds that form an incomprehensible babble.

I hope to be able to make myself better understood on my travels by building on languages learnt at school and university to create a tower of useful words and phrases in: French, German, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and Turkish.

A tower which could end up disintegrating into gobbledygook if I’m not careful. If only Esperanto had been more popular or we were all taught to speak the same second language!
















From → Travel Writing

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