Can History Books Become Colouring-in Books?

By erasing history, we are eliminating the ability to tell history. 

Photo Credit: Youth Ki Awaaz

With many historical figures and TV shows coming into a heated debate on the rights and wrongs they have written, is removing historical content from our history books, eliminating our ability to learn from history? Is there a way we can allow our historical records and previous printed actions some light and colour in the way we read and teach them now?

I remembered a quote from a great book The Empire Of Illusion by Chris Hedges which quoted: “A civilisation that cannot communicate, dies”.

Our way of communication has always been storytelling. Regardless of your cultural background or upbringing, “We” as part of the human family, with all our different various breeds can all draw from the stories we learnt in our tribes. Even the multiple different tribes we went through, like the High School archetype tribes: Band groupies, The Lads, Art Goths, we all learn through the stories we shared. Even the content within the “Dolly Magazine – Dolly Doctor” still shaped my teen-hood and gave me a safe, female tribe in confidence that I could learn.

Often we tell stories which reflected the times we faced, passing on our knowledge learnt, greater insight, empathy and understanding towards younger generations so when they face a similar situation they may be able to undertake a greater awareness. We see forms of storytelling across every tribe, from the Aboriginal Dream time, Irish folk-tales, to my Italian grandmother telling me why I need to marry an Italian man.

Aboriginal Dreamtime Stories. Photo Credit: Japingka Aboriginal Art

We want to pass on our knowledge and yes, there are times we tell stories which are painful, heartbreaking and swell emotions which make us feel furious and angry, however do these stories not hold opportunities to learn in some way.

The content of storytelling is so widely available to us today in so many different forms, Google searches, people sharing on Facebook, Vimeo, documentaries, newspapers, magazines, podcasts etc, and have you noticed that this form of sharing, connecting and communicating is building up our civilisation across boarders which previous historical figures would have never had the ability to reach. We indeed live in a time when, “to share a history is possible” and so is the ability to shape one.

The ABC had a incredible series called “First Footprints” and I have always remembered the impact a quote from the promo had:

“When you kill off a civilisation, you take away the ability to tell their history”.

The statement was so powerful that it made me think, if only people back then knew that every history is validated and our history books need colour to tell great stories.

So how do we eliminate the naivety and cruel actions of humans today?

We need to tell stories.

We need to have history there regardless of the heartache to teach us how not to be, to teach us how to do better and to teach us that history can be created by our actions and our choices now rather than a repeated stretch of the pass.

Subscribe to FIB’s Weekly Alchemy Report for your weekly dose of music, fashion and pop culture news!