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A twist in the tail - Mermaids

In October we were joined virtually by museum professional, activist and writer Sacha Coward. Sacha is somewhat of an expert on international mermaid folklore and in October he shared with us just a few interesting tales he had discovered in his research.

When mermaids are mentioned it’s safe to assume that most people will automatically think of Disney’s ‘The Little Mermaid’ which presents the mystical aquatic creature as heteronormative.

However, Sacha showed SHWI that there’s much more to mermaids than meets the eye.

He guided us on a trip through the ages and around the globe looking at different imagery and tales of these ocean-dwelling beings, and their links to the LGBT+ community. Interestingly, we also looked at the history of a few of the people, including Hans Christian Andersen, who have perpetuated the tales of mermaids, who use these mythical figures to manifest some of their own feelings and beliefs that may have been considered unusual in their time.

It was a fascinating talk and we’re eagerly anticipating Sacha’s book he’s currently working on to find out more.

This was our last virtual meeting, how have your WI's been doing with any digital meetings?


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