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Fragments of/on Memory

Gary Peters


Cultures of memory cultivate our memory by encouraging the displacement of exterior historical events by the interiority of singular memory, rendered collective through an ethics and politics of empathic communicability. The assumption being that, while we are the products of history, we are the producers of memory, and thus can be held responsible for what we produce. The assumption is that historically we are within time while, memorially, time is within us. As such, cultures of memory cultivate to the extent that they establish a collective and systematic exchange of interiorities in the name of a shared responsibility for the past, present and future: a caring community of retention / recollection, intention / attention and protention / expectation. But, outside of the exigency to cultivate our memories and memorialise our cultures, is it possible to emancipate memory from the cultural concept of memory? Would this be irresponsible?