Meaningful pasts: Post #7

1. What objects from the past do you particularly treasure?

I appreciate objects associated with ways of life, the activities and practices of my ancestors, of my people, and of the villages and cities that symbolize the development of cultures all around the world. More intimately related to me, I can think of my grandmother’s breadboard, my grandfather’s fishing basket, but also more generally, the antique furniture of my country, and the remnants of old villages and cities of Europe, etc.

2. Do you think that some objects from the past are best forgotten?

Yes, I think that in all aspects of life, it’s important to sort and select objects: to eliminate and recognize what is superfluous, to keep significant objects, and sometimes to preserve what is considered less aesthetic such as more recent objects, in particular if these have meaning for the future or are representative of a particularly remarkable historical moment.

3. What intangible pasts (e.g. customs and languages) are meaningful to you?

I consider thoughts and actions to be part of intangible heritage. For instance, revolutions in the name of dignity and freedom, such as the French and Cuban revolutions, but I also think it’s important to remember other movements such as Nazism in Germany and the extermination of Jews. The memory of these revolutions and movements are useful to better understand the present and to reflect on the future of humankind.

4. How is it best to preserve these intangible pasts?

Through education and action, such as learning from revolutions and continuing them in the future.

5. If we save more and more objects and intangible pasts, is there a danger that there will be too much past in the future?

One shouldn’t live in the past or in a museum. To prevent this, we must always consider the time-space continuum. We must find some kind of balance between the duty to remember, the responsibility of the present and a viable and happy future.

Male, 50s, public servant


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