Strangers: world views and marginalising the 'Other'

A special new exhibition in Hereford Cathedral’s Mappa Mundi and Chained Library building explores how human beings throughout history have covered their fear of the unknown with stereotypical and distorted misinterpretations of those who appear different to themselves: the ‘Other’.

This exhibition shows how we all tend to see ourselves at the centre of things, marginalise and distrust strangers, and exaggerate difference. It looks at how terrible things happen when we disassociate ourselves from people whom we perceive as different to ourselves to such an extent that they seem scarcely human, and crimes like genocide become conceivable.

Hoping to recognise this and counteract it, ‘Strangers’ looks at the situation from different perspectives. The exhibition starts with the strange peoples drawn on the edges of the Hereford Mappa Mundi, and displays a wide range of images and documents from the cathedral’s collections relating to many peoples, places and periods. As well as the Hereford Mappa Mundi itself, the Cathedral’s Magna Carta is examined in the context of its imperialist uses, and a rare Torah scroll, loaned by the Memorial Scrolls Trust, bears witness to the tragedy of European Jewry.

‘Strangers’ is on show within Mappa Mundi and Chained Library, Hereford Cathedral, Saturday 30 April to Saturday 3 September 2022. The exhibition is open from Monday to Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm (last entrance 4.30 pm). Normal admission charges apply.

There is a series of Life & Learning talks accompanying the exhibition. Click here to view our events.