I was really moved by today’s reading “Listening to the Heartbeat” Interview with Marlon Riggs. I think I was most compelled about the passage on history. Excuse the rather long excerpt:

Screen shot 2014-10-27 at 10.43.53 AMHere Riggs is talking about the idea of history that exists outside of the traditional notion of historical scholarship (or what is rooted in physical evidence). In class we look at the way that media shapes our notions of the world around us; so too does our narrative of history function to shape our notions of the past.

But conventional scholarship of History privileges certain ways of knowing… That is, tangible, quantifiable evidence.

What is in part so radical about Riggs’ work is that it acknowledges and relies on other modes: feeling, fantasy, psyche, mythology, etc. As subversive ways of knowing, Riggs uses these modes to challenge dominant ideologies about the experiences of black gay men.


About eliciasepstein

Documentarian; maker. Southern California.

One response »

  1. Just a short personal follow-up to my post actually…. I was in part so interested in this passage because I am currently working on a sort-of installation piece that deals with similar challenges in way-of-knowing and producing “truth” and “knowledge”

    I have been photocopying and curating pages from my diaries from kindergarten through college that I am putting into a self-bound hardcover book and sneaking into special collections at the library– will soon be giving out the call number (but you have to sign up as a reader to access special collections! :)) — Let us challenge epicenters of knowledge!

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