21 Eylül 2011 Çarşamba

White-man came with Peace: on Kincaid's "A Small Place"

Kincaid says Antigua wasn’t successful on creating a nation, because of having no or few national memories. For her, the memories can be gained through libraries and books, they are not accessible because the library damaged and not re-constructed, even if it is so, the books in Antigua tells about the memories of the colonizers. Besides this, “the memories” do simply not exist in Antigua due to their destruction by English destroying everything which are “not English”. Apart from these, to create a nation there must be some “forgetting” process which means the Antigua in colonial times should be completely erased, for her the independence of the Island is not erasing the colonial Antigua: firstly, the economy of the country is based on tourism (give the tourists the best of what they ‘expect’, make them happy and serve them) secondly, the corrupt rulers are favoring themselves rather than ‘constructing’ images to show independence, and lastly, the ones who have money do only give their money to renovate the old institutions, than building new ones. Then for her, the nations are build up by the people on social institutions, which ‘creates’, remembers or erases the memories.

Last time, we have seen how the history can be silenced through the narration: the narratives and narrators were doing it together to silence some events which are actually happened in “the past” (as a location) to favor the present (another location which is causally related to “the past”). The ideas of one location there, have been imposed to the other location with the help of “the location of past”, the subjectivity on picking up the events to be recorded in history leaves us no space to express our opinions in present location. Kincaid expresses that what if the events which happened in the super-past were destroyed by the past and the present remains same as the past because there is no change in the past? As we see in the Antigua case. There is no history, no story, no national narrative, because of having no access to printed sources of knowledge, lack of institutions to create such knowledge and industry to print these sources. For her the history is destroyed and it is wanted to be remained as destroyed, therefore the things are repeating themselves.

We have read four authors’ works showing us the nations are produced in one process: Anderson, Hall, Trouillot and Kincaid. There are so many common points that they show us to understand, in my opinion the most important one is about the time. The time is a location in which the nations create themselves or created by some. This location is a consequence of a change in social apprehension of time and location-based views. These two actions shapes the societies in one pattern, for instance with the industrial revolution people came to understand the time as a location then, they created nations which can move in this locations and they are shaped by what they have created: Nation-states. Now we declare that, we are living in post-modern/industrial epoch and the epoch of information and intelligence. The borders between “the things” are now blurred distinctly, therefore they are so complex. However, nothing is actually different than before! The pattern as a whole repeats itself, the whole system works for one at last. The ones who own the means of something can control everything. It was land 200 years ago, after sometime the production tools and now it is the information. The societies evolve, but the system does not. Antigua is the best example of that, even though they de-colonized from England, the pattern repeats itself the White-man is still the one who takes advantages from the black. The oppressor do oppresses in a different way and legitimizes it with different tools.

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