Essay on childhood memories in french

We do not have a uniform but we must be dressed in a respectable and practical way. For example, no t-shirts with rude slogans, no large earrings or piercings that could be dangerous, etc. We are not allowed to eat or use our mobile phone in class either.

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I study maths, French, science, technology, history and geography, PE and citizenship. As I am in Year 9, I must study two foreign languages. I chose English and Spanish and I really love them! My favourite lesson is Spanish because the teacher is really friendly and he explains things well. Later, I would like to continue to study languages.

I would like to learn Chinese as it is a really fascinating language. I hope to pass all my A levels and go to university. Despite intellectual debates about the definition of childhood and cultural differences about what to expect of children, there has always been a substantial degree of shared understanding that childhood implies a separated and safe space click here to see a timeline of progress in the recognition of children's rights.

The Convention is the first international human rights treaty to bring together the universal set of standards concerning children in a unique instrument, and the first to present child rights as a legally binding imperative. The Convention: Defined childhood as a separate space from adulthood and recognized that what is appropriate for an adult may not be suitable for a child. Called on governments to provide material assistance and support to families and to prevent children from being separated from their parents. After all, who remembers the trials of potty training, breast-feeding or that first pain of hunger, for example?

Freud was adamant that the phenomenon of infantile amnesia is not to be explained, for example, by the inadequacies of a child's mind.

Contemporary research shows that when people remember things from varies enormously, sometimes from six months old to six or seven, from only a few scenarios to many. He continues: Some of the mnemic images [inscriptions] are certainly falsified, incomplete or displaced in time and place.


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Any such statement by the subjects of the enquiry that their first recollection comes from about their second year is clearly not to be trusted. Moreover, motives can soon be discovered which make the distortion and displacement of the experience intelligible, but which show at the same time that these mistakes in recollection cannot be caused simply by a treacherous memory. For example, when I initially thought of the photograph of Trafalgar Square by Talbot, I remembered it as being included in The Pencil of Nature , but it was not until I checked that I realized my error; it is not.

Freud argues that these apparently insignificant memories from childhood, which usually stay with the individual throughout their lives as representations of the lost years of childhood, are actually screens , a displacement or shield from other significant memories. However, the screen memories are not to be dismissed as false , but subject to analytic enquiry in psychoanalysis at least.

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Freud argues that they in fact contain all of what was essential from that individual's childhood. What has been subject to distortion is not the childhood event itself since this is no longer accessible , but the trace of it left behind. Freud also indicates a third type of screen memory where it is directly connected with what it screens, in a contemporary contiguous sense.

In these temporal differences, the screen memory works in different ways, like the way that the manifest content of a dream is related to the latent thoughts that originated it. A childhood memory, then, for Freud, is not what it seems. The work of screen memory has the purpose of having one memory within another one, which functions through repression resistance to remembering and displacement. As such they are more like fantasies about a childhood.

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The image is used as a space, a location for memory-traces. This is the lesson to be learnt at least from Roland Barthes's Camera Lucida. But it is not an isolated example and there are several routes back to a discussion of photography here. There they are, printed in the margins of the text and in the bibliography, but all omitted from English editions as, indeed, are the references to phenomenology and Jacques Lacan.

Whereas the studium is akin to voluntary memory public or cultural associations can be consciously recalled , the punctum is an involuntary response to a photograph. No doubt we have all had experience of this, perhaps? It is where an image, almost at random, inexplicably makes us react and because of this it also surprises us. It has an effect upon us involuntarily. If we follow an associative path for the image to our memory it can lead to other memories, even a suppressed memory and, with critical work, an essential repressed memory-trace.

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I want to suggest that historical and canonical photographs can be treated with precisely this type of critical model for interpretation. As such, photographs may be considered in analogy with screen memories. As with human memory, we can no longer verify the original experience or sensation of the photograph, but the image provides a scene in which we may bring voluntary studium or involuntary punctum memories to bear upon it.

Voluntary memory is like the work of history, but involuntary memory belongs to personal affect. These are both often interwoven in complex ways. From my own knowledge of Trafalgar Square, I can see that Talbot's photograph is made looking from the south-west side towards the north-east corner. St Martin's church, visible in the background of the image, still stands there today. It is also easy for me to recall or find out that historically the square is built to commemorate the Battle of Trafalgar in between the British and Napoleonic navy fleets.

These were part of trade wars, essentially over colonial trade routes.

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The column shown in construction in the photograph, with hoardings around it, was the literal embodiment of Lord Nelson in a memorial. Nelson is being implanted in the popular memory of Britain as a spatial image. As with screen memories, the innocence of this view has something that I nevertheless find compelling, and is what induced me to refer to this picture for this essay. Indeed, there is something involuntary about the affect of this picture for me. As a child I grew up near Portsmouth on the south coast of England.

Thus, the story of Nelson and his death is long since familiar to me: Nelson was a figure in my own childhood. I had visited many times his old ship on which he lost his life and whose death spot was eagerly pointed out each time by the young sailors guiding our group around the ship. Yet I have seen this photograph many times and not noted previously any specific interest in it. On reflection, I realize, a novel I read recently on a trip to Naples has rekindled this old memory the death of Nelson , which has activated an involuntary interest in this photograph.

This book has triggered retroactively a personal memory via a photographic image. No doubt there is much more to be said about this, but what strikes me now about the image historically rather than personally is the specific temporal disjunction between the death of Nelson and the actual construction of his monument much later in As Le Goff argues, such commemorations bind social memory into a unity and the role of a photograph here also functions as a device for social memory.

Historically, it was long after almost four decades after Nelson's actual death that his monument was being erected.

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He is memorialized retroactively. Only in , when Talbot's picture is made, is Nelson being situated at the centre of the capital city. Talbot chooses to show and juxtapose these unruly signs of popular culture beneath the monstrous monument in construction.

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Talbot's camera position highlights this, with St Martin's church shrunk in scale and perspective against the national monument: an image of patriotic space over the religious place. One association a photograph of Trafalgar Square acts as a container for another association Nelson's ship and my childhood. It can be said that photographic images do not destroy personal memories, but that they interact with them in very specific ways, which may not always be conscious.

The binarism implied in the distinction between cultural memory and individual memory collapses as photography re-figures their relationship. With photographs, memory is both fixed and fluid: social and personal.


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  • There is nothing neutral here. As sites of memory, photographic images whether digital or analogue offer not a view on history but, as mnemic devices, are perceptual phenomena upon which a historical representation may be constructed. Social memory is interfered with by photography precisely because of its affective and subjective status. As composite formations, photographs, like childhood memories, have a sharpness and innocence that belie meanings that have far more potential significance than is often attributed to them, which means that in terms of history and memory, photographs demand analysis rather than hypnotic reverie.

    CHILDHOOD MEMORIES PARAGRAPH (WITH PDF)

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