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Do not stand at my grave and weep,

I am not there, I do not sleep.

I am in a thousand winds that blow,

I am the softly falling snow.

I am the gentle showers of rain,

I am the fields of ripening grain.

I am in the morning hush,

I am in the graceful rush

Of beautiful birds in circling flight,

I am the starshine of the night.

I am in the flowers that bloom,

I am in a quiet room.

I am in the birds that sing,

I am in each lovely thing.

Do not stand at my grave and cry,

I am not there. I do not die.

- Unknown

Glitched Memories // Fragmented Mementos is a time-based video and photo album that explores the concept of death as a loss of identity and the practice of grief through personal anecdotes, rediscovery, and reclamation. This experience provides a narrative around the preservation of identity and family histories through a collection of family photographs that were discovered in personal photo albums and public archives. The images were digitally manipulated by voice recordings of handwritten letters I wrote to those that were photographed as a veil of hiddenness. The letters to my great-grandfather and grandfather were written after their passing; however, I wrote a call to action letter to my father, who is still with us today, to help him process the recent loss of his parents.

Death is a taboo subject within my family, especially as I define death being the loss of one’s identity rather than its conventional definition. I believe this culture of avoidance has been established for generations. This was especially emphasized to me when I discovered that my grandfather stored my grandmother’s cremations under the family dinner table. I strive to challenge this cultural aspect within my family by acknowledging the importance of preserving the stories and identities of loved ones for future generations.

The purpose of this piece is to allow me and my father to reconnect and discuss our relationship with death through the preservation of one’s memories and identities, and to allow viewers to reflect on the processes of grief and loss by questioning how family impacts their identity and how they will preserve their family’s history and identity.

However, upon completion of this project, I’ve come to realize that my father and I do preserve the memories and identities of our ancestors through the social and emotional actions we’ve learned from our personal relationships and interactions with them. Although my father struggles to discuss grief and loss due to learning it from previous generations, my father does preserve the memories and identities of his grandfather and father through his actions as a father to his daughters. I also think his actions show how family and ancestry greatly impact both his and my identities.

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