The Danger of a Single Story

I have had numerous enquiries as to the meaning of 'The Danger of a Single Story' so thought perhaps I could write a little something here. 

The title suggests that in any one event there is more than one interpretation and by omitting certain viewpoints we are in danger of a divergence from the truth.

My research into feminine histories of European 17th - 19th century and early European Settlement led me on an exploration of social structures, ownership, oppression, beauty, memory, displacement and isolation. I needed to try to understand the historical precedents that inform and empower misogynists, white supremacists and racists of today. This strong propensity to negate the ‘Other’ (Female, Indigenous, Refugee and Migrant) to separate and reject others disconnects us from our humaneness, we, like the ‘Other’ become a silhouette of ourselves.

Another area of interest is how I could represent the landscape not as something to conquer and destroy, but how it was once seen, as a terrible beauty, the sublime, as in Edmund Burke's sublime evidenced through writers such as Homer, Horace, Virgil, Spenser, Shakespeare and Milton.

It brings in to question our own Paradise Lost, of 'shades of death, A universe of death....' (Milton)

Allowing for some ambiguity ‘The Danger of a Single Story’ offers a key to the viewer to unlock the enormity of these recurrent themes juxtaposed with the fleeting poetic beauty and loss of ourselves and the land.  

It is the exploration of the boundaries between what is observed, what is imagined and what is hidden or forgotten.

© Megan Seres