Dapple

What’s the meaning of the word ‘dapple’, and what’s it got to do with being a Good Country?
Graphic 4 World Map Paint Splashes Michael Tompsett
painting by Michael Tompsett

When you’re talking about humanity in the twenty-first century, it’s easy to get gloomy about the impact of globalisation, and all the huge problems it has created and compounded. But it’s important never to forget that there’s a good side to globalisation which is far more powerful than the bad side.

In his Amsterdam TEDx talk last year, Simon Anholt used the word ‘dapple’ to explain this central part of the Good Country philosophy.

Dapple is a word that the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins used to express his delight in patterns of light and shade and colour: he found beauty and meaning in the gorgeous chaos created when things get messed up and mashed together. The dapple we’re talking about for the Good Country is about combining cultures as much as colours, but it’s exactly the same principle.

The wonderful thing about globalisation is how it has thrown us all together, and made permanently available to all humanity a rich psychedelic soup of mad polycultural genius, a creative force of unparalleled power which we should never hesitate to use and enjoy using.

As the great Bob Marley said, “you got to stir it up”.