The riots in France couldn’t happen here in London, right? Our society is far more integrated and recognising of other cultures - isn’t it? Well, so the news commentators keep saying. But when it comes down to it, many of us are dangerously ignorant of other faiths and ethnicities.
Only today, a poll by the BBC indicated that more than a third of UK citizens have no understanding of Islam, while 37% of Muslims are completely uninformed about Judaism. (Even more alarming, 31% of Jewish people say they know nothing of Judaism!)
So multicultural, yes; intercultural, no.
Hoorah, then, for Untold London. This newish website highlights the many cultural events and exhibitions around the capital. From Hindu artefacts washed up in the Thames (image above), to the recreation of a 1950s West Indian front room at the Geffrye Museum.
Untold London is ‘a collaboration between a number of organisations with experience in the London history and heritage sector’, and is based at the Museum of London.
Their listings section is comprehensive, well annotated and searchable by cultural group. That 31% of Jewish people who know nothing of their own heritage, for example, might like to visit one of the 15 museums listed as housing Jewish objects.
A short exploration of their site reveals something of a misnomer. The wealth of events and exhibitions showcased in the listings suggests that the history of London’s diversity is not Untold at all; just underappreciated.