Rekindled: Susan Briante in Conversation With
On the Limits of Documentary Poetics
On this episode of Rekindled, Raquel Gutiérrez talks with Susan Briante about her upcoming book, Defacing the Monument, a series of essays on immigration, archives, aesthetics and the state, which will be published by Noemi Press in August 2020. The two speak about the limitations of documentaries, situating oneself within a story, and archival research.
From the episode:
Raquel Gutiérrez: You mentioned the limits in documentary poetics—can you offer some limits that emerged in the process here?
Susan Briante: The limit is the first problem one encounters—how do I represent a story that is not mine? How do I represent a story that, no matter how close I try to come to it, will never be mine? It takes, something that is more complicated than empathy. And sometimes this notion of empathy can be dangerous…
It is just imperative to recognize those limits exist. And then to try to account for them. I can’t work my way to someone else’s subjectivity, nor do I want to, but then I need to do as much work as I can to delineate where those blind spots might be, and to be responsible for them, and to ask myself, do I need to be telling this story?