Learning from history

“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.” That’s one of those many quotes that’s always attributed to Mark Twain, even though there’s no evidence he ever actually said it. However, the sentiment does hold true. This week’s issue of The Uniter is full of instances of people hearing the rhymes of the past in the events of today, making use of the lessons in that historical poetry.

Campus reporter Callum Goulet-Kilgour’s cover feature explores the classical music scene in Winnipeg. It’s an arts scene that’s often perceived, sometimes mistakenly, as being too mired in the past, drawing on the historical canon of composers and excluding newer works. While this tension between conservatism and experimentation in classical music persists all over the world, Callum explores how local music organizations are prioritizing innovation, both in the music they perform and the kinds of work they do.

Columnist Jase Falk explores how transgender folks from older generations can pass on emotional lessons and survival skills to young trans people todaya.

City editor Lisa Mizan, writing about Manitoba’s preparedness in dealing with the potential threat of coronavirus, looks at how the 2003 failure to adequately address the SARS crisis in Canada has provided valuable lessons to healthcare professionals across the country for dealing with a potential future outbreak.

Arts and culture reporter Naaman Sturrup examines the dance performance Animal Triste, a work about human evolution from prehistory to today, while volunteer writer Brady Tiel makes a case for how the space race of the 1960s can serve as a warning for overinvesting in space travel today.

Learn your history, folks! It can sometimes feel like an “eat-your-vegetables” type of task, but we’re always living with our past.

—Thomas Pashko

Published in Volume 74, Number 17 of The Uniter (February 6, 2020)

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