It's not my memory of it: three recollected documents

Julia Meltzer, David Thorne

2003 | 00:25:00 | United States | English | Color | Stereo |

Collection: Single Titles

Tags: Culture Jamming, Death and Dying, Documentary, Eastern European, History, Middle East, Politics

It's not my memory of it is a documentary about secrecy, memory, and documents. Mobilizing specific historical records as memories which flash up in moments of danger, the video addresses the expansion and intensification of secrecy practices in the current climate of heightened security. A former CIA source recounts his disappearance through shredded classified documents that were painstakingly reassembled by radical fundamentalist students in Iran in 1979. A CIA film — recorded in 1974 but unacknowledged until 1992 — documents the burial at sea of six Soviet sailors, in a ceremony which collapses Cold War antagonisms in a moment of death and honor. Images pertaining to a publicly acknowledged but top secret U.S. missile strike in Yemen in 2002 are the source of a concluding reflection on the role of documents in the constitution of the dynamic of knowing and not knowing. These records are punctuated by fragments of interviews with information management officials from various federal agencies, who distinguish between "real" and "protocol" secrets, explain what it means to "neither confirm nor deny" the existence of records on a given subject, and clarify the process of separating classified from unclassified information.

It's not my memory of it is conceived and produced by The Speculative Archive. The Archive works with existing collections of historical records to produce new documents. Current research focuses on state secrecy as a memory practice and its effects on contemporary political dynamics. Speculative Archive projects have appeared as installations, presentations, and single-channel video. The Archive was founded by Julia Meltzer and David Thorne in 1999.

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Exhibitions + Festivals

Impakt Organisation (The Netherlands), 2004

Rio de Janiero, Curta Cinema, 2004

Athens International Film/Video Festival (OH), 2004

Internationale Kurtzfilmtage Oberhausen (Germany), 2008

8th Courtisane Festival in Gent, Somewhere in Time 6 section, April 2009