An Acoustic Journey

  • Trinh T. Minh-ha


In the current political and cultural landscape a crucial shift has been emerging, and maturing: a shift in the (dis/re)articulation of identity and difference. Such articulations remain informed by an awareness of both the enabling and disenabling potentials of the divisions within and between cultures. Constantly guarded, reinforced, destroyed, set up, and reclaimed, boundaries not only express the desire to free/to subject one practice, one culture, one national community from/to another, but also expose the extent to which cultures are products of the continuing struggle between official and unofficial narratives: those largely circulated in favour of the State and its policies of inclusion, incorporation and validation, as well as of exclusion, appropriation and dispossession. Yet never has one been made to realize as poignantly as in these times how thoroughly hybrid historical and cultural experiences are, or how radically they evolve within apparently conflictual and incompatible domains, cutting across territorial and disciplinary borders, defying policy-oriented rationales and resisting the simplifying action of nationalist closures. The named ‘other’ is never to be found merely over there and outside oneself, for it is always over here, between Us, within Our discourse, that the ‘other’ becomes a nameable reality. Thus, despite all the conscious attempts to purify and exclude, cultures are far from being unitary, as they have always owed their existence more to differences, hybridities and alien elements than they really care to acknowledge.


Cultural Politics Sudden Death Syndrome Intimate Terrorism Conscious Attempt Corrugate Iron 
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Copyright information

© John C. Welchman 1996

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  • Trinh T. Minh-ha

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