Posted by: Waheeda Harris | November 28, 2013

The power of art to make you cry

Cape Breton - GB Miners Museum sign

Museums are there to teach you – whether its science or history or culture – its their job to inform and explain – and at times, provoke an emotion.

As we travel the planet to explore, we’re constantly in the whirl to find the pretty, the lovely, the beautiful and occasionally the unusual. But its not always a goal to evoke sadness when travelling.

Visiting the Cape Breton Miners Museum was definitely unique – not just because the tour guide was a former coal miner and the tour took you deep into a former coal mine to learn about how these men did their job – but because of one sign.

Visitors walk through a traditional museum set up – photos, relics, tools, uniforms, stories – revealing the history of mining on the island and its integral role to Cape Breton Islanders.

At the beginning of the tour and the entrance of the mine, this sign is posted – a relic of the past, and perhaps not truly art, but a historical artifact that brought tears to my eyes. Because it was a reminder for all those men to remember to be safe. It made me think about doing a job that was so dangerous at any moment you could die.

As we proceeded into the mine, walking and listening to the guide detail a day in the life of a miner, the different responsibilities and dangers, the environment and camraderie, I kept thinking about that sign. And although not everyone would want to spend a few hours underground in a dark mine, to understand Cape Breton, its a place that any visitor would count as most memorable.

Want to see art that has the power to make you laugh? 

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  1. […] Want to see how art can make you cry?  […]


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