Billy Kahora and the Inhuman Untidiness of the Archive: Frankline Sunday

Billy Kahora examines how the gaps, biases, omissions and misperceptions woven into the construction of the archive dehumanizes the characters in the stories we tell about ourselves, trapping us in a cycle of angst and chaos.

BK: The beauty is that the space has really grown and when you have a bigger space and more production, invariably you are going to have much better work. What has been happening over the last five years is all these creative institutions have failed, right? And why have they failed? Probably they have not failed in so much as they’ve done what they were set out to do and their time is done. They were probably not set out to do anything more than they have done. But they also failed to adapt to changing of circumstances and I believe that’s one thing.

‘I have no problem with talking. That’s what writers do; they need space to vent as they go back and forth from the word processors. I have no problem with prescriptive ideas, playing sap to the politician, imposing theories that have not much to do with realities on the ground. But who is to say what is reality or what isn’t. All that I might ask, starting with myself is that my rhetoric, my theories, my musings—or at least even I call myself a writer—can be seen between the pages of a book. That I am part of the defining texts of the here and the now, and that they are written down and not just talked about. Because we really need them, as much as we need many other things, if we are to avoid faint hope, the fire next time. And if we can’t avoid it–the moment has been defined for all to see.’

 

The full story appears on the drr issue of Place. Order your copy here.

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