I grew up with historians – great believers in keeping things, because you never know when they could become key to telling a story. But these historians also spent most of their professional lives talking to people. Oral histories, unwritten narratives, and lived experience weave stories along with – and contradictory to – records kept in shelves, boxes and hard-drives…Read More
In the past months I've spent time in medical archives and museums, accessing collections of images, artefacts, documents and objects, sifting for stories, making unexpected connections. I have been thinking a lot about how these things came to be here, what has been preserved, what's missing, and how particular narratives and realms of knowledge are constructed and reproduced by the value systems of dominant cultures.
I have been (deliberately) unmethodical in my research, following my nose, promiscuous with my attentions. I have started searches beginning with a particular plant, or drug, and allowed this to take me into exploded narratives of bodies, pharma-colonialism, identity, politics, hormones, piss, scientific innovation, belief, witches, extraction, exploitation, testing, failing, poisons and cures, magic bullets, not-knowing, bio-prospecting, life-saving, life-ending...Read More