Collective memory mechanism:Remembering needs communication and relationships.
Monday, 23 May 2011
Remembering we forget.
Many thanks to all those who contributed so positively to the workshops mentioned in my last blog. There was a great 'buzz' at the conference of which they were a part. It was a memorable forty-eight hours for the two hundred or so people who took part. Hopefully participants will have been able to talk about it at length on their journeys home. Some will meet to see how the ideas discussed can be taken further in their own congregations and localities. Others will be busy on articles about the conference for church magazines. And others will be following-up for themselves things to do as a consequence of their attendance. But all of us will be conscious that our memory of the content of the sessions we've enjoyed together is already waning. Talking about the conference, meeting others who attended, and trying to describe the experience to people who didn't attend will all help to slow down that decay of memories, but as those social interactions become less frequent and more distant from the event the recall becomes more difficult. The group which created the memories (the conference gathering) is no more and our memories of it are dependent on meaningful recall of it in groups of people that share its significance. That's the heart of what collective memory means. Gathering, talking, sharing, and acting together is an essential aspect of memory.