Friday, 21 May 2021

The Bicentenary: An Update

Napoleon's Grave, St Helena, May 2021

After years of preparation, the disruption of the pandemic and the debate in France over Napoleon's legacy, the ceremonies on St Helena have now passed.

In my previous post I said that the commemoration would be very different from that in 1921. It didn't take any special foresight to say that! Commemoration of the bicentenary took place in a world perhaps even further removed from 1921 than that era was from 1821.

In the shadow of the Great War, most if not all of the imperial certainties of a European dominated, Atlantic centred world remained. That era has now long gone. The UK has moved on from Empire to Commonwealth, and now, after a brief semi-detached sojourn in the European Community, in the midst of a global economic and environmental crisis, to the Anglosphere and "Global Britain". One wonders what our descendants will make of that in 2121. One wonders also what place St Helena will have in this new world.

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