Sacha van Alfen
Freedom of Imagination, Reconstruction of Truth
Arndt, J. 2021, February 2nd. Personal communication. [E-mail].
"To articulate the past historically does not mean to recognize is the way it really was."
Benjamin, W., Zohn, H., & Arendt, H. Illuminations. 2015. The Bodley Head Ltd.
"Algia (longing) is what we share, yet nostos (the return home) is what divides us."
Boym, S. The Future of Nostalgia. 2001. Basic Books.
Duyvendak, J. W. The Politics of Home [Book]. 2015. UK; Palgrave Macmillan.
Sedikides, Constantine & Wildschut, Tim & Routledge, Clay & Arndt, Jamie & Hepper, Erica & Zhou, Xinyue. To Nostalgize: Mixing Memory with Affect and Desire. 2015. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology.
Tarkovsky, A. Nostalghia [Film]. 1983. Soviet Union, Italy; Sovinfilm.
Van Tilburg, W A.P. 2021, February 12. Personal communication [E-mail].
Nostalgia is paradoxical. While longing can make us more empathetic towards others, it can also divide us based on idealized notions of who belongs. The promise to return to a ‘pure’ and ‘perfect’ state lies at the core of many powerful and violent ideologies today.
This project aims to contribute to a more nuanced understanding of nostalgia by introducing two fictive characters, Nostos, who represents the longing to reconstruct the past (a restorative nostalgia), and Algia, who represents the longing itself (a reflective nostalgia). Giving shape and meaning to longing, these characters represent tendencies rather than absolutes. Through a chatbot they enact the two sides of nostalgia to demonstrate the paradoxical nature of this mental state.