The ISSU online version of the Brochure of The Unreliable Archives
Welcome to The Unreliable Archives.
This is a geological archive of unreliable collective memories. I think that this is also what you could call history.
I needed to sit with complexity so I sat with rocks. I didn’t know where I was going by sitting with rocks. My inquiry gained form in the process. Layering of sediments, radioactive fossils, pressure, heat and time played a role.
I invited others to join and I am now inviting you.
This is an archive of moments of changing perspective.
A shift in how we take up space, in our sense of home.
During my research process, I have come to think of myself as a radio mast.
One that is on a hill next to an open cast-mine.
An open-cast mine is like a wound in the landscape. It is not a coincidence my radio mast is here, at the edges where plants are pushing their way back into the gutted earth and the long process of regeneration can begin.
I have been learning new frequencies, tuning into different wavelengths, both above and underground, tuning in to voices on airwaves, floating fragments in rivers and the low rumbles of rocks.
My journey took me through South Africa, Finland, The UK and Belgium, and so you will hear voices from all of those places.
Maybe it was the act of sitting with a stone.
Maybe it was the fact that my dad was a geologist,
Maybe it was artist William Kentridge talking about Apartheid as an immovable rock you can’t tackle head on, because the more I read and questioned and understood, the more I became aware that he is right. It is too complex, too many-tentacled, too heavy…I can’t tackle European colonial histories, structural racism, white male supremacy, neo-liberal capitalism, ecological crises or the whole of western thought head on.
Maybe you laugh because I thought of trying.
But I know I feel accountable and I feel the need for transformation.
If rock can become liquid and squirt upwards through the air, if riverbeds can fold and push up mountains, continents can tear apart creating oceans, then maybe these histories are also mobile. Not less complex, but possibly transformable.
Photos Karolina Maruszak
A huge thankyou to everyone who made The Unreliable Archives possible.
Your names are in the brochure!