I did a “news” article this morning for the music section of blogcritics.org. and I’ve been thinking about it for most of the day. It’s not that it was just a rehashing of a press release(hence the quotes around news)that bothered me, rather the underlying reality about what was being reported on started to give me a problem.
I still couldn’t quite put my finger on it until I dropped in on the epicIndia.com group run for readers of Ashok Banker’s work. A thread had been started about a project Ashok is working on concerning the history of India. It’s not so much an individual work, but that each series, The Ramayana for example, takes place in a particular time period in Indian history. Through them he is attempting to re tell the complete history of India via the eyes Indians.
There’s a novel idea. Someone from a culture writing a history of it, or at least recounting it’s history through the stories that tell it. How many books have been written about the Indian uprisings of the 1800s by British authors as compared to Indian? How many African’s have made movies about the incident depicted in the British movieZulu. Precious few I’d wager.
Down through the ages history has been told by the winners. In his book Homage to Catalonia George Orwell said that he had heard rumours spread by the fascists of Russian tanks fighting on the side of the republicans, even though there were actually no Russians what so ever in Spain. But, he continued, he wouldn’t be at all surprised that when the histories were written that and the republicans lost that those tanks would feature prominently.
How many years was the massacre at Wounded Knee Creek referred to as a heroic battle before the truth came out? In Canada we always read about the brave missionaries and the challenges they faced trying to convert the heathen savages, but we never read about blankets infected with small pox or the residential school system.