What Makes “A True & Exact History”

In a two-part interview with Sonia Farmer on her work for the upcoming exhibition “We Suffer To Remain” Natalie Willis guides Sonia to delve into the creative motivations behind her artist book, A True & Exact History:

“…When I’m doing erasures I can’t say that I have a plan, I do definitely let the language lead the discussion or lead the narrative. I just started picking out things that were standing out to me, creating this narrative that I wasn’t sure would have an end, or where the end could be. Through that I started realising I was picking up on the same things as time went on, I found myself saying the same things in different ways, and thinking about creating a new narrative that subverts Ligon’s voice of authority about the Caribbean space. I was trying to think about bringing out other voices. There’s no singular voice in the narrative I’ve created, there are many voices – none of which I think are Ligon’s, actually. I think they more belong to the people of the island, or islands, if we think of the Caribbean as a homogenous space as so many people do.

There’s never any specificity in the narrative, and there’s a reason for that, because I am interrogating the homogenous space of the Caribbean so sometimes the voices are maybe voices of people, of an omniscient narrator, maybe it’s the island itself. So through the act of writing, in that way I think that I am, when I finished writing I realised what I was doing was interrogating the authority of these historical accounts written by other people, by colonisers, and trying to not necessarily replace them because their narratives are so entrenched in our society, but to try to add another possibility or path or voice to the equation…”

Read more here and here.

Categories: Media, Press

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