Sunday, 31 October 2010

Hunt the witch?

Wiccan friends of mine are offended by the ‘Hunt the Witch’ promotion by Newgate St shops for Hallowe’en – where you are supposed to seek out stereotypical images of witches in the shop windows. After all, a ‘Hunt the Jew’ promotion with Shakespearian images of Jews wouldn’t be acceptable – so why are Shakespearian images of witches acceptable?

I guess with the Northumbrian witch trials of the 17th century, there is a historic basis. Then again – I don’t know if Rapper Dance traditions are similar to Morris Dance imagery, but if they were – there could be cultural justification for a ‘Find the Moor in Morpeth’ promotion.

Fundamentally though – we do need to be careful that popular imagery does not colour the way we think about any group of people.

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