Reflective memory - Cultural reflective distance

Focusing on the relationship between selfhood, memory and reflective distance, I argue that Sartre offers useful resources for thinking about the self in terms of narratives.
To achieve reflective distance, you should be capable of disengagement from cultural norms and givens. The reflective return to the cultural origins that you can no longer inhabit in any unthinking manner.

For Sartre, my act of freedom creates values that any other human being imagined in my situation could experience, translating the singularity of my situation into the universal.

Reflection and memory weave past, present and future into a consistent and meaningful life story. This story is about the self. I propose to understand the self as a fictional or imaginary entity. Sartre attributes the emergence of selfhood to memory and reflection. Memory, acting in an imaginative and creative manner, brings the self into fruition and thus creates experience and endows it with meaning.

In this case a photograph should not be considered a ‘mirror of the real’ but ‘material‘ for interpretation: to be solved; read and decoded, like a riddle, like clues left behind at the scene of a crime.

Maria Nitulescu

  • Type Photography

“I construct my memories with my present. I am lost, abandoned in the present. I try in vain to rejoin the past: I cannot escape.”

Jean-Paul Sartre

”I exist because I think . . . and I can’t stop myself from thinking”

Jean-Paul Sartre

”I am because I think, why do I think? I don’t want to think any more, I am because I think that I don’t want to be, I think that I . . . because . . . ugh!”

Jean-Paul Sartre

“Where shall I keep mine? You don’t put your past in your pocket; you have to have a house. I have only my body: a man entirely alone, with his lonely body, cannot indulge in memories; they pass through him. I shouldn’t complain: all I wanted was to be free.” Jean-Paul Sartre

“When she was in Djibouti and I was in Aden, and I used to go and see her for twenty-four hours, she managed to multiply the misunderstandings between us until there were exactly sixty minutes before I had to leave; sixty minutes, just long enough to make you feel the seconds passing one by one.” Jean-Paul Sartre