“Nostalgia is inseparable from the past and is represented as memory.”
Flicking through a childhood photo album, instantly, you receive a warming reminiscence of some of your earliest memories, of being an individual on this earth. But what if I were to tell you that your earliest memory was faux? A fictional recalling, a mental representation pieced together through fragments of photographs and stories told. A single photograph, has the ability to capture a memory- but what if it could be used to fake a memory we never actually had?
London researcher Shazia Akhtar found 40% of us have a fictional first memory.
“We suggest that what a rememberer has in mind when recalling fictional improbably early memories is an episodic-memory-like mental representation consisting of remembered fragments of early experience and some facts or knowledge about their own infancy/childhood.”
“Such episodic-memory-like mental representations come, over time, to be re-collectively experienced when they come to mind and so for the individual they quite simply are ‘memories’ which particularly point to infancy.”
The following series of images further explores and experiments with this concept of uncertainty. Six individuals were asked to choose an image with a strong sentimental value and connection with an early iconic childhood memory. Each image held within the palm of their hands consists with of nostalgic glimpse in time.
But what if this moment, this memory was fake?