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'Memory' by Jennifer Akre, inspired by The Unforgotten

By youngviclondon 5 Oct 2020

The Unforgotten at the Young Vic



We are coming up against systems and laws, words that have been decreed, and ceremonially put into place by people who are alive and who have died, along time ago.

Hundreds of years shouts at thousands of years, words are in the atmosphere.  Words don’t age.

You say “Why don’t you forget whatever happened in the past”? you tell me to “let go”, that I should “move on”.

How can I let go?  How can I move on? When I have generations upon generations of people who went through traumatic experiences, centuries upon centuries coursing through my veins.

It is called undiagnosed PTSD and anxiety, like family traits that can be passed on genetically, because our cells hold MEMORY.

“The somethings are better left unsaids” are the people who are afraid, and who find it quite the task to CHANGE.  They know a little street lingo “The Police” are “The Feds”.  They are starting to believe that they are cool because they go to the carnival, tolerate loud music and are seen talking to a men wearing dreads.

TOTALLY unaware that BLACK and BLACK, BLACK AND WHITE who have children of dual heritage have “The Talk” a unique discussion for preparation.

“This is what you do when, This is what you say when, Whatever you do don’t come home late then, and mind where you walk”.

I’m telling you this because I love you and this is how I was TAUGHT.  The system is set up to make sure that you get CAUGHT.

This is “THE TALK”.
Angels of the North

Our protectors, our guidance, our confidantes, our shame hiders. 

Who are your personal heroes?  Who are the people that you can turn to when you find yourself in a pickle?  Who do you trust wholeheartedly without a shadow of a doubt to infinity? Who are the people who have and continue to nurture your gifts, and your talents? Who loves you unconditionally?

Who are your friends? I mean, your friends your REAL friends?  Who are the people that you feel have not done right by you? Who are these people? CALL THEM OUT.

Then, what will be begin to happen? Flash floods won’t happen, the ice caps in Antartica won’t melt, because we would be our own luminary.

Written by Jennifer Akre in response to The Unforgotten, a free interactive art installation at the Young Vic which participates in and contributes to the ongoing conversation within the Black Lives Matter movement regarding whose image we uphold and elevate, offering our community an alternative view of leadership. To find out more visit