Saturday, October 22, 2005

Freed voices


One of our administrators tells me she was a Red Guard towards the end of the Cultural Revolution. She also has clear memories of earlier times of turmoil in China. She’s lent me a copy of The Good Women of China by Xinran. This book is based on the stories women shared with Xinran, when she presented a radio programme called Words on the Night Breeze. These stories are very moving. I was struck by the similarities of Xinran’s work to what Pratap said about giving people a voice – the media at its best, as deCerteau says, helping:

"the person to follow the thread of memory, which easily twists or knots up or gets lost in chaotic or confused repetitions…helps to relate one kind of experience or another…to clarify the chronology of events in reference to the history of the region or the nation." (1997: 130)

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