There are different kinds of forgetting. Different temperatures to the act of forgetting. But there is no deliberation in it: the mind does not allow for a conscious stab at itself, its body of memory. Some forgetting happens on a daily basis; others, dissolves with time — it accumulates, pushing out or burying the rolls of memory that are no longer as pertinent; and as we age, our memory fades into a further distance unbeknownst to us.

There is a forgetting as unconscious as what we have eaten the day before, the odds we have carelessly given away to another, the minute gestures of the everyday that conjures up into the habitual. The habitual is a form of forgetting why we have come to obsessively do certain things in certain ways.

But there is also forgetting that occurs socially with the culture of our time. In a society where we protest against the atrocities of what we can or hold the privilege to claim as ‘rights’, how do we come to understand the civil unrest that has torn and continues to devastate a country? How do we remember a time of genocides and massacres, that we have not have had the misfortune to live through and bear witness to? If art historian Eric Hobsbwan considers curating as a “protest against forgetting”, how might we strive to face this world in a similar bravado and seek a balance between not forgetting but not dwelling?

Against Forgetting is our protest. A protest against the act of forgetting that we are all immigrants; that there were atrocities in a time before us as much as in the time now; that moving on and ahead does not necessitate an amnesia. Through this festival, we gather ideas, beliefs and sentiments that we believe ought to be protected, resurfaced and perhaps, better remembered. There are many past moments of our cultural history worthy to be revisited and the films in this festival are but some poignant issues still very much relevant today.

As a society, maybe we’ve done enough forgetting — let’s renew these conversations of the past.