Friday, February 16, 2007

The Cuban Memorial

Many ethnic groups have a trauma in their past, its an archetype that belongs to many cultures and their history. In order to understand and have empathy for their struggles, we should have an open ear to their pains.

The Cuban Memorial, scheduled for this weekend, is a unique feature in South Florida, and its many citizens should take into consideration what this memorial means to many Cuban-Americans.

"The choice that we have is not between remembering and forgetting; because forgetting can't be done by an act of will, it is not something we can chose to do. The choice is between different ways of remembering... Memories do not always bear fruit and may even lead us astray. If we treat the past as holy, we exclude it from the world of meaning and prevent it teaching lessons that might apply to other times and places, to other agents of history. But we do just as much damage through the opposite approach: making the past trivial by likening present events to past ones too easily, trawling it for facile solutions to current issues, betrays history, distorts the present, and opens the door to injustice."

- Tzvetan Todorov, Hope and Memory: Lessons from the Twentieth Century (2003)

No comments: