WHAT YOU SEE IS NOT WHAT YOU REMEMBER (Art Basel 2022 Baloise Art Prize)

“Memories are not stored as exact replicas of reality; rather, they are modified and reconstructed during recall. They are reconstructions of reality filtered through people’s minds, not perfect snapshots of events. Because memories are reconstructed, they are susceptible to being manipulated with false information”- Boundless Psychology

When it comes to my understanding of the history of Pomfret; my history; there is a dependence on oral history/storytelling and memory, it still can be a reliable source of history. The history of Pomfret, that which is written also has gaps in it, often written by white men, who knowingly omitted the black soldiers and their families, who were an integral part in the forming of the 32 Battalion and Pomfret.

“A person’s motivations, intentions, mood, and biases can impact what they remember about an event. There are many identified types of bias that influence people’s memories.” – Boundless Psychology

“Pomfret holds my earliest memories, some of the memories I have to dig deep to recall them, some had to be retold to me. As well with the history of the 32 Battalion, Búfalo and notions of home that is Angola. Often these stories were told around a fire, the people who experienced the history and memory often drank while telling the story, to recall just enough details but not too much as to re-experience the trauma.”

The main objective is to create the possibility of being transported to a place in another continent and awaken feelings of entering a familiar space, a space that is often shared.

The living area recreates Uambembe’s childhood home in Pomfret. Containing objects such as teacups, vases, that will be made, also prints on the wall using personal archival images. These images bear semblance to photographs and imagery seen in Pomfret homes.

The Shadow room, is a moment of thought and reflection in memory, that may be real or reconstructed with slight distortion. Like the history an narrative around Pomfret and its people.

By Helena Uambembe