Morocco World News
Fez, December 14, 2011
History can be documented through various mediums and in different ways. It is the basis that the present and the future of a country rely on to move forward. Our views of history shape the way we look at the present, and therefore it dictates what answers we offer for existing problems. No one, for instance, would be able to understand the causes behind all the Arab revolutions currently taking place unless the person goes back into history. The importance of history lies in the fact that it helps us understand the present.
The documentation of history has always been viewed as an imperative and a duty of a country and of those who made it or participated in some way or another in making it. However, this documentation of history has never been objective and never will be. Rather, it is subjected, to a great extent, to politics of exclusion and inclusion, since most of the time there is a set of rules to abide by and a particular agenda to follow. This, however, affects what is categorized as heritage and turned into a historical event, monument or whatever and what is reduced to amnesia.
History can be seen and written through the eyes of individuals, as well as groups. Historians end up telling different stories, sometimes contradictory ones, since these stories are being told by different people, who have different agendas and who see things from different perspectives.
Museums, movies, songs, books, documentaries, among others, are very crucial tools through which history can be preserved and passed on from one generation to another.
One might wonder how history is being documented or written and who is behind the selection of what to categorize as a parcel of history. Who decides what should be part of a museum, for instance, and what history should be immortalized?
Museums, as one example of a tool that keeps history alive, play a crucial role in documenting cultures and past events. They are meant to preserve long chains of historical developments, which a particular country went through.
Yet, one should bear in mind, while visiting a museum, that it is not ideology-free and that all the materials exhibited have been carefully hand-picked, which actually leads to a cultural violence towards the past to secure some part of it at the expense of others.
No one can deny that history has marginalized and muffled many voices. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be able to observe the scholars that conduct research to give a voice to the voiceless and marginalized people who also took part in making history.
In a nutshell, history is man-made and if this has any significance, it must refer to the fact that there is no absolute truth and anything can be questioned.
Yassmine Zerrouki obtained a Bachelor’s degree in English literature, as well as a Master’s degree in Cultural Studies: Cultures and Identities in Morocco from the University of Sidi Mouhamed Ben Abdullah in Fez. Yassmine is a member of the national board of the Moroccan Association of Friends of English (MAFE), where she is in charge of media department. She is also an organizer of the national competition of creative writing in English.
Editing By Benjamin Villanti
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy
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