• Amber Akaunu

Silences in History 🤫

Hello to who ever randomly finds this section of my website. I've decided to create a blog to use as a central location for research, idea forming, reviews, poetry and random thoughts. I've noticed that, although this year has been awful beyond comprehension, I've actually had a lot of creative ideas and plans for my practice which I hope to share here. Being in literally 24/7 has allowed me (well forced me) to engage with music, conversation, literature and more that I think will definitely influence the direction of my practice in the upcoming years.

This year, I started an MA in Screen Documentary at Goldsmiths College and within the course I am taking a module titled 'Archaeology of Moving Image' which is incredibly interesting, even though the majority of the language and concepts go right over my head. However, one topic that really stood out to me was around silences in history. This discussion in class was centred around the work of Haitian born anthropologist, Michel-Rolph Trouillot. As I was researching into silences it linked to so many other topics and issues within institutions and education that quite literally blew my mind. I think this topic resonates so much to me as earlier this year I created a video essay (as part of an incredible programme led by Rhea Dillon) titled GTLE (Give, Take, Learn, Elaborate). This piece was about my feelings of being so disconnected to Black knowledge and feeling like I was creating work that didn't build on existing work. This feeling might be from silencing, especially within education as when I left education, I left without a true sense of where I am situated in the history of Black knowledge and creativity.

The film, 'Watermelon Woman' by Cheryl Dunye encapsulates all of this so perfectly. I actually watched this film a year or two ago but didn't fully grasp just how powerful it is. I know I'm very late to the party but if you are too, definitely give it a watch.

I'm really excited to further this research around silences and especially applying it to Black Northern narratives that I feel experience contemporary silencing with many of our experiences being dismissed, interrogated and therefore silenced.