Stop press – Archives, Art & Activism
On the train! Some quick thoughts, rather undigested, from the last session of the AAA symposium, which I thoroughly enjoyed, and so my many thanks to the organisers for an excellent few days. One, it seems, referring to yesterday’s blog, that archives are indeed senergy by many colleagues as almost coterminous with life itself, with this about fixing the future so it doesn’t have the absences and silences and retrograde presences of now, and as a consequence ‘accumulation and re-presentation’ is the name of the game. Two, it seems few of us are interested in the rogues, villains, disreputable and frankly awful as also a part of humanity’s past, present, and doubtless its future too. Relatedly, the elisions and silences in archives are associated with the meek and the good – and hmm, I find myself thinking about this, that such a partiality for those we approve of is likely to be exclusionary in itwo own way. Three, I have almost taken a vow not to speak about South Africa in public. A good chunk of the participants had been there, inevitably to Cape Town, and so many of us speaking and proclaiming about the country made me feel rather uncomfortable, us whities engaged – as we so often tend to – in an imperialist kind of project of knowing, naming and possessing.
Last updated: 5 September 2015