Axiomatic (Stella shortlist 2019)
This boundary-shifting fusion of thinking, storytelling, and meditation takes as its starting point five axioms:
* 'Give Me a Child Before the Age of 7 and I'll Give You the (Wo)Man'
* 'History Repeats Itself...'
* 'Those Who Forget the Past are Condemned to Repeat It'
* 'You Can't Enter The Same River Twice'
* 'Time Heals All Wounds'.
These beliefs -- or intuitions -- about the role the past plays in our present are often evoked as if they are timeless and self-evident truths. It is precisely because they are neither, yet still we are persuaded by them, that they tell us a great deal about the forces that shape our culture and the way we live.
The past shapes the present -- they teach us this in schools and universities. But the past cannot be visited like an ageing relative; the past doesn't live in little zoo enclosures. Half the time, the past is nothing less than the beating heart of the present. So, how to speak of the searing, unpindownable power that the past -- ours, our family's, our culture's -- wields now?