[Image: A little Finokian mash-up, 2006]
Considering for a moment the iconography of culturalism, and how brands of simple imagery might best represent the symbolic portraiture of an individual country, Britain has launched a website where the public at large can both nominate and vote for their favorite icons to depict the pride of the UK's historical persona. Icons - A Portrait of England aims to create "a rich resource of material about our lives and cultural heritage," and to stimulate debate over which icons truly represent British culture. One icon nomination, of which I discovered on Spy Blog, is for the ubiquitous CCTV camera, wittingly proposed by Perry de Havilland, and was recently accepted.
He says, "The CCTV camera is the perfect icon for Britain today, summing up the nature of the changing relationship between civil society and political state. They are an innovation in which Britain leads the world both technologically and in usage and are the visible manifestation of so many things which happen out of sight. It is almost impossible to avoid their gaze for an entire day and sitting like steel crows on their perches above us, truly they are emblematic of modern Britain."
When you consider that Britain is officially the most watched country in the world, monitored by some four million CCTV cameras (one for every 14 citizens), and that the word is, if you live in London you are probably caught on film about 300 times a day, then, it would seem this contest is really a no-contest. Go here and vote for the CCTV cam as UK's most appropriate cultural icon.