Attachments to historical and archival sources are at the center of Nayland
Blake’s 2012 installation at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San
Francisco. Entitled FREE!LOVE!TOOL!BOX! the components of the exhibition, as
well as one of its public programs (a piercing demonstration conducted by
Blake and his long-time familiar Lolita Wolf), is the subject of the seventh
chapter. As a young artist Blake was a participant in San Francisco’s
changing arts landscape, and his relation to the massive development of the
South of Market area (where YBCA is located, and also where many leather
bars and institutions were established), structures his questions about San
Francisco’s leather histories. By literally attaching himself to a
reproduction of an iconic mural decorating one of San Francisco’s earliest
leather bars, Blake stages an encounter with history, exhorting his audience
to participate in claiming historical networks and lineages.
In this chapter, the author, through a family history, speaks of how forced exile persists through generations. He narrates the series of events that took place after he left England and moved to United States, including the catastrophic failures of nuclear reactors. The discussion largely focuses on the incidence of cancers caused by exposure to radioactivity in England, and the impact it had on Anglo-American relations. The author also showcases the differences between English and American cultures.
In this chapter, the author discusses the cultural life in Rochester, New York, in the 1920s. The city of the 1920s is often referred to as 'Mr Eastman's town'. Economically, the first three decades of the twentieth century had been described as Rochester's golden age, and the centrality of Eastman-Kodak to the city's prosperity had important cultural consequences. The establishment by George Eastman of the Eastman School of Music and the Eastman Theatre in 1922 was the single most important event marking the 'end of provincialism'. The 'Rochester Renaissance' owed a lot to Eastman's wealth and philanthropy .
In this chapter, the author explains the internment of aliens in Britain during the Second World War. The 'internment of aliens' is a peculiar and rather hysterical measure taken by the British government after Dunkirk. The author describes his father as an alien. He is alien to Britain and to English culture. He came to Britain from Germany in February 1938, was a class C 'enemy alien' (recognised as a genuine refugee, and officially designated a 'friendly' enemy alien). The classifications were made by wartime tribunals set up in Britain in 1939.