Issue No.6 2018

The past lives on in memory. It shapes each one of us in an intimate way, and defines our own unique personal history. It shapes us by means of cultural memory, in that it is the very thing we use to make sense of the present, and the future, mediated through images and stories. Memory as such, doesn't always immediately come to mind, but is instead taken as a prerequisite, one that has become self-evident. Even our personal memory doesn't always present itself merely as data of experiences past, but lingers within us, haunts us, is emotionally charged, and becomes inscribed into synaptic patterns. Traces of such continued subconscious existence of memories might show themselves most distinctively within symptoms of trauma.

Memory serves us as orientation, and as warning. It prompts nostalgia or the need to distance ourselves. Memory is the consequence of a process of selection, not just in an individual sense but in collective terms as well. It is the result of an appropriation with regard to the utility of the past, for the present. Thus, we remember the past in the form of narratives that are supposed to help us to understand a complex reality. Nevertheless, we need to actively contemplate to bring the process of remembering—the process of selection—to light.

The sixth Issue of 39NULL discusses the various aspects of memory. We tell stories of forgotten historic sites and places where memories weigh heavily; of oblivion and persistence; of bad, and of hopeful memories, and of their benefits and attempts to quell them.