Memory and creative forgetfulness in The nine muses
Faculty of Social Sciences. Communication Sciences
, p. 147-153
University of Antwerp
By way of an analysis of formal elements (e.g., cuts, the juxtaposition of archival footage with new images that were shot in Alaska), this essay understands John Akomfrah's film The Nine Muses (2010) as the opening up of an aesthetic, relational space. The Nine Muses brings together the elements Black and British without in any way obfuscating their differences. This discussion leads into an analysis of the productive nature of memory, understanding it as a faculty that, on account of its entanglement with a form of forgetfulness, can preserve a dimension of hope that belongs to the past. A third section focuses on the way in which The Nine Muses revisits Homer's Odyssey and reads it against the grain, redeeming its protagonist from the fate of being a precursor to the modernist and colonialist project.