‘The Obsolete’

For the first in a new web-series, we have handed over editorial control over to our long time contributor Isla Badenoch.

This selection of articles introduces the theme of the ‘Obsolete’. A word accompanied by the images and objects of that which has been replaced, is no longer of use and has limited functionality in our everyday lives. When I approached the following writers with this disconcerting word- many similarities sprang about from their initial thoughts relating to a sense of loss, memory and nostalgia.

Each of the following articles muses upon a personal aspect pertaining to the word ‘Obsolete’. Be it a way of living for an elderly relative of mine, the loss of a prominent architectural feature from a city’s skyline, to the confused attempt of a technophobe at fixing a broken camera.

Within the advancement of the everyday, we encounter more and more cultural items and situations of the obsolete. We attach our memories to objects, places and things in order to make our stamp on the world, yet what happens when these stamps become faded or replaced by newer, shinier, more efficient stamps of modern approval?

These articles discuss whether we associate a negative “don’t make ‘em like they used to’ approach to this occurrence, or perhaps use a more positive frame of mind that maybe newer can be better- that we can discover, evolve and create even more incredible advances as humans- not just technologically but even psychologically.

What has become obsolete has become so for a reason, and that in itself is something fascinating and reflects the inconstant nature of memory, the past and the unpredictability of the future.

I hope you enjoy the following ruminations and that you too can use the obsolete to not dwell in what is lost and forgotten, but what can be remembered and learnt from by absent and irrelevant objects and circumstances.

By Isla Badenoch

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