When insitutions or a state "produce" histories or create a mode for the disemination of knowledge, they effectively legitimize the existance of that insitution or the right of that state. This creates not only rhetoric and propoganda, in general terms, it creates a language by which to understand what is NOT that state or institution. With this, a state, can then begin to make claims about what it is, based on the facts of what it is NOT. In other words, using the Other to explain it's own identity. Creating this language of civilizational authority, then using it as a basis for understanding a national identity, makes a government or at least those in power, believe that what it is doing is right or just, in comparison to everyone else. Not only that, but it creates a frame for those inside the state, the masses, to understand thier own identity through a nationalistic scope and begin to discuss the identity of others, with the state's language.
In my day to day life, in post-9/11 America, this effect, has left a void in the language available to discuss modern America. I cannot narrate the sub-altren. It must be based on the terms, the vocabulary and the language of it's own displacement or migration. The struggle therein, is framing a discourse without the terms and the language given to it by the establishment. How does one seperate a common language with a common understanding? One has to move beyond post-modernism and post-orientalism, and must critique stucturalist modes of knowledge. However, Precosh stated,"... the sub-altren must use old forms of knowldege and foundational histories, either to react against or critique. In doing this they must critique themselves, what are they trying to say, how do they mark identity, how do they assign good and bad..." Thus, it is the role of the contemporary historian and documentarian to break foundational claims and provide new perspectives. We must base our writings, findings and commentaries, not on that which is narrated through a categorical identity or established methodologies. Together, we the artists and historians of the 21st century, coupled with those of the non-western diaspora, MUST use history, language, and art, as a different disipline than what was established by Europeans or the west at large. In creating this perspective, we will effectively rewrite history in a language that knows only itself, that is removed from the establishment's notions of categorical identities. May, 2007.
We hiked to the sacred Dal Lake one morning but found it to be quite dull. We stayed only a short time and began to hike back. Not more than 100 paces into the trek, we were found ourselves caught in a wicked hale storm. We grabbed a rickshaw to take us the rest of the way home, only to then be caught in a herd of sheep and goats being lead up the mountain. April, 2007.