Ends on March 1, 2018

‘Doesn’t a breath of the air that pervaded earlier days caress us as well? In the voices we hear, isn’t there an echo of now silent ones? . . . If so, then there is a secret agreement between past generations and the present one. Then our coming was expected on earth.’ (Walter Benjamin) What does it mean to be in secret agreement with people and places that came before? To recognize that coming after is a matter not just of influence, but also the taking on of certain obligations—for example, to return, to pay tribute, to make amends, to put to rest? How does the attempt to fulfill these obligations reconfigure the relationship between the past and the present, memory and forgetting, the living and the dead? Southerly 78.3 is interested in the forms of writing and creative expression that wrestle with the demands of trans-generational obligation. It begins with the assumption that our experience of the present is shaped by the unfinished business of events, forces and relationships that accompany our acts of remembrance and bind us to certain places, objects and things. What strategies of translation, remembrance or elegiac invocation can assist us to dramatize this unfinished business and thereby shed light on the myriad ways in which the past asks something of us?
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