Sites and Scallops

Simon Reeve’s documentary about Pilgrimage was informative and has cemented the idea that the purpose of our audio walk definitely needs to be with a focus on a ‘journey’. Pilgrimages are plagued with symbolism – which we didn’t even know about. A scallop is a symbol of a pilgrimage allover the world. As part of an initiation process for our walk we wanted people to take something as an acceptance into our journey, the scallop is a good idea both practically and symbolically as certain people will recognise the symbolism and others will learn this at the end of their ‘pilgrimage’. The sense of a journey will hopefully be felt by subtle changes along our tour – such as the shift in age of the voices in the audio and a knowledge about certain spots in the cathedral that they didn’t have before. Through reading an extract from Theatre/Archaeology there is a statement that says “Do not begin with the question ‘what is it?’ instead ask ‘what does it do?'” (Pearson and Shanks 2001, 53). This is the mentality we hope to instil in our Pilgrims throughout their journey. For example when looking at the scallop – what does it do? It is a recognised symbol of pilgrimage and it represents the sacrifice undertaken to travel to a site of religious importance. This is a far better outlook than simply stating what the scallop is.

I also decided to re-listen to some of the Guardian podcasts we listened to earlier in the semester. This has been useful as they have been created for a specific place just like our walk has. This has been useful as it has helped me think critically about background noises in the audio. Some of the background noises can be quite distracting for example the sipping in Adrian Howells and the ‘drip’ and ‘patter’ in Lemn Sissay’s. This has made me think we should have realistic sounds appropriate to the Cathedral grounds.


Pearson, M. and Shanks, M. (2001) Theatre/Archaeology. London: Routledge.

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