Public Memory Transfer for a Social Humanity
The title sounds like an activist plea, but let us be honest: we need simple and humanist messages as the spiritual society we need to build is done this way, - I am afraid, - not any other. Using science, our professions and our institutions as well as we, - civil, secular society, can probably ameliorate human condition. But, needless to say, any competing in humanism is welcome. That is the underlying pursuit of all the philosophy and humanist reflection throughout the human history. Our memory institutions are full of evidence and knowledge that can enable or at least help us in doing so. We must use it for the benefit of all and every member of human society, not for the sake of some invented egalitarian norm but as the only sustainable method of achieving a secure society of peace, justice and equal chances. Museums were perceived for long as being rightfully aside: aloof in the their scientific “objectiveness”. But who else than the guardians of human experience are more qualified, called upon and obliged to share it for the public benefit? Selecting, storing, caring for and communicating memory is a political function of first order. Those in charge will have to stick out their necks. Curiously, this task can be undertaken in different ways, to a specific extent and using varying arguments, by any, literally any, person, any legal body, any human activity and above all, by any memory institution. What we talk about is the span of memory, from individual/collective one, to the social memory done by the industries (creative, knowledge, education), by art in general and by the public memory institutions, - in modern times even by those that belong to the civil society and (some among) the private institutions or actions. Name and ownership do not either qualify them or disqualify them in perceiving the priorities of “human society or social humanity” that can be so well realized by the creative and socially inspired transfer of the human experience.
This ingenious photo was done by Shmuel Joseph Schweig renowned as Israel's first artistic photographer of landscape and archaeology: Grandchild with "saba" (grandfather), 1930s, later silver print, 20 x 16.8 cms.