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known knowns and known unknowns

- Aylwyn Walsh

riffing off of Donald Rumsfeld

questions that arise on watching Helle Stenum's documentary film We Carry it Through Us:


Audience responses touch on whose pain is represented, and to what audience.

In answer to how contested histories may be understood by the oppressor, the Archivist answers: ‘it depends what you ask of the material’.


The film explores pedagogies in a complex juxtaposition of forms:

  • the oral history in song form juxtaposed with the video game ‘slave trade’ (tetris).

  • the ongoing admission that there is so much omission in history textbooks despite documentation existing in archives.

  • Virtual online games that enable young people to enact colonial trade.

What kind of pedagogies can attend to the known knowns of trans-atlantic memories and the known unknowns perhaps redolent beyond fixed archives?

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