". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Nigeria - PEN world Voices Festival of International Literature

Full reportage for this segment of the weekend here.

[ "Thousands of miles of oil pipelines run through coastland occupied by the Ogoni people, one of 250 ethnic tribes in Nigeria. Noxious fumes, spills and development have turned much of the area into a wasteland, causing severe deforestation as well as desperate poverty.

Going off on his own and writing, untroubled by politics, has “been a dream for 30 years,” said Mr. Wiwa, who is Ogoni, like his father. But he added, “A lot of my most profound thoughts originate from being involved in this struggle. It compels you to consider the idea of what happens if you just go away and write. Because you may not have anything to say.”

Mr. Ndibe asked about sacrifices his family made because of his father’s commitment, but Mr. Wiwa demurred.

“All of us have a choice, to make our children safe in the world or to make the world safe for our children, and there are implications to that,” Mr. Wiwa said, referring to others he has met who share his situation, like Nelson Mandela's daughter Zindzi and Nkosinathi Biko, the son of the South African activist Steve Biko. “Our fathers chose a different path.” ]


Graeme said...

Reading both links you left at my blog (one after another) was really powerful. Thanks!

Foxessa said...

It felt that way to me also.

Happy to have been able to pass these on.

Love, C.