glaring at the world through rear view

“This is the problem of history. We cannot know that which we were not there to see and hear and experience for ourselves. We must rely upon the words of others. Those who were there in the olden days, they told stories to the children so that the children would know, so that the children could tell stories to their children. And so on, and so on.”

― Yaa Gyasi, Homegoing

We tend to turn to archives, when looking into histories. Archives are the constructed and designated place of storage of memories. However, instead of being mere collections of memories, or stories that are passed on from generation to generation, an archive is conceived with purpose. Questions arise: who creates, who decides, who provides, who maintains, who is excluded, who excludes, to whom it alludes, who refuses, who listens, who looks, who finds?

In our third editorial room, we draw your attention to these questions around archives and archival practices. By way of a film programme that shows us how archives have influenced our perception of histories or how they work to prolong certain legacies. Some of our contributions try to disrupt the archive. Or they care to try to add experiences that would otherwise be lost. It is these sub narratives – and dub narratives – that we know, feel or find.

Beyond the documentary realm, we carry archives with us, even when we have moved elsewhere or feel displaced. Textiles, garments and clothing. Memories, myths and narratives that continue to echo through. These echoes give way to stories that were not expected to enter the archive, giving it a purpose it was never meant to have. We exchange and build, at public roundtables and in our own homes. We revisit memories, document them again, trying to find truth in the fictions that memories can be. Both within and outside the archive, we work to gain insights and find comrades.

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