An Incomplete Timeline Of Isthmian Identityies
Feet landing upon the shores of what would eventually be known as the Bahamas began the biggest exchange of biology and culture known to history. Christopher Columbus’ first contact with the so-called New World would soon change biological landscapes throughout the world in irrevocable ways and, most pertinent to us, allow the opening up of dialogues between continents – an often aggressive, often brutal interchange. The world we live in is the illusory ‘end’ to a timeline made from many millions of exchanges that happened and are still happening today, all branching out from that one grand, horrible moment when an intersection was created. slot gacor
Narratives define history, identity, self. Recent world events are showing us something historians have known for ages: ‘truth’ is relative. Whichever narrative is decided, sold, packaged, retold and consumed is the one accepted, and possibly becoming the basis for a whole group’s identity. What, then, becomes of those people groups who cannot tell their stories? What becomes of them when their stories are not only unheard, but subsumed by those of more powerful hegemonic identities?
Presented as a visual dialogue between Spanish medieval tapestries such as Devoción de Nuestra Señora and pottery designs found on archaeological artefacts of the Gran Coclé cultural region of the Panamanian Isthmus, An Incomplete Timeline of Isthmian Identit(y/ies) attempts and fails to tell a story of the many ethnicities of the Isthmo-Colombian cultural region that takes up most of Central America and the North of Colombia, both past and present. This timeline fails on principles of definition: when do you start the timeline? When humans first migrated into the continent? The years before Contact with Europeans? Post-contact? And how exactly can you show a timeline when the present is ever passing us by and the future is imagined? As such, this work exists as a metaphorical meeting point, and one crafted in bias. There are five ‘scenes’ in this work, selected to tell a very particular narrative born from ethnoarchaeological evidence, deliberate gaps left in between history lessons in public schools, the realities of oppression remembered and occurring, and a knowing abandonment of positivity – there is a reason the Spanish called it Conquista, after all; and to ignore that such an imperialistic mentality survives to this day is irresponsible and simply plays into the hands of those charlatans who create a singular truth.