The Landscape of the Lines of the Hand: Imagining the Storied Memories of Sensorial Experience of Place

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Abstract

Some of the most striking accounts of the inventive power of imagination come from former prisoners who have spent time in solitary confinement. In these testimonies, they relate how their imaginative capacity enabled them to keep their sanity, even in the most arduous circumstances. Somehow they managed to find a way to keep a very basic sense of social and cultural relations intact, by picturing themselves in a richer world than the one afforded by the concrete walls of the cell block. There is the astonishing story of the experience of the brothers Midhat, Bayazid, and Ali Bourequat who spent 18 years in a Moroccan prison. Here they were able to muster the power of imagination in a most dramatic way. The only way to survive their ordeal, according to their own testimonies (Hiddema B: De hel van Marokko: “We hebben Hassan beloofd te zwijgen”. De Groene, 7. https://www.groene.nl/artikel/de-hel-van-marokko-we-hebben-hassan-beloofd-te-zwijgen, 1994), was by imagining they were somewhere else. In their own 2-by-3-meter cells, the prisoners forgot about the thick walls locking them in and celebrated their birthdays, weddings, even births, and whatnot. Their minds were inexhaustible in creating diversions. One of them was by taking each other for walks in Paris. Gradually all the other inmates, sitting in their other dim-lighted prison cells, “walked” along with them. Thus they shut out reality completely: their world was what they invented. That was their salvation (This account is based on (Hiddema B: De hel van Marokko: “We hebben Hassan beloofd te zwijgen”. De Groene, 7. https://www.groene.nl/artikel/de-hel-van-marokko-we-hebben-hassan-beloofd-te-zwijgen, 1994, February 16)). It is this radical human ability to imagine worlds wholly other to the one that one is present in, which is foregrounded in the artful workshop that is the theme of this chapter.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRelational and Critical Perspectives on Education for Sustainable Development
Subtitle of host publicationBelonging and Sensing in a Vanishing World
EditorsMargaretha Häggström, Catherine Schmidt
PublisherSpringer
Chapter3
Pages33-49
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-84510-0
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-84509-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jul 2022

Publication series

SeriesSustainable Development Goals Series

Keywords

  • art education
  • sustainability education
  • landscape
  • imagination

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