Dementia Americana: The Persistence of Forgetting

Orwellian Dandellion


While history cable series and infotainment documentaries make up a great deal of entertainment content, Americans don’t really have a good grasp of their own history. 

Historical memory is a tricky thing. Slight alterations of facts or context can greatly effect the perspective from which events are understood. The process of nation building requires the construction of national myths, but that also means a rewriting of history to fit contemporary needs. 

As the world seems to veer to the political right and is awash in Fake News, Orwell’s dictum about control over history is terrifyingly prophetic. This Olio examines the process of the creation, annihilation, and resurrection of different elements of American history.

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"The process of continuous alteration was applied not only to newspapers, but to books, periodicals, pamphlets, posters, leaflets, films, sound tracks, cartoons, photographs—to every kind of literature or documentation which might conceivably hold any political or ideological significance. Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date. In this way every predication made by the Party could be shown by documentary evidence to have been correct; nor was any item of news, or any expression of opinion, which conflicted with the needs of the moment, ever allowed to remain on record. All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary. In no case would it have been possible, once the deed was done, to prove that any falsification had taken place." George Orwell, 1984




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Think Olio is not about learning a new skill or adding credentials to your resume. It is about getting together with other people and expanding our worldview. It exists as a conduit for fruitful discussions, a dissent from the regurgitation of facts, and an embrace of new perspectives.


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Other upcoming Olios


Jul 21

Olio Breakfast Club | The Stranger

Taught by Patricia Kim
10 a.m. at Greenberg's Bagels @ North 3rd St. Market

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Jul 23

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Taught by Christina Katopodis
7 p.m. at Living Room

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Jul 25

Frida's Fragrance: Art, Scent, & Persona

Taught by Jessica Murphy
7:30 p.m. at The William Vale Hotel

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Jul 31

Prospect Park Philosophy | Art vs. Reality

Taught by Geoff Klock
7:15 p.m. at Prospect Park (Grand Army Entrance)

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Aug 2

OlioHouse Weekend | Midsummer Night’s Dream

Taught by Geoff Klock
7:30 p.m. at OlioHouse | Wassaic, NY

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Aug 14

The Allure of Masculinity

Taught by Kim Nguyen
7:30 p.m. at The Assemblage | NoMad

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Aug 17

OlioHouse Weekend | Scenius (Un)Skillshare

Taught by Lauren Hudson
2 p.m. at OlioHouse | Wassaic, NY

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Aug 21

Philosophy Club | "God is Dead"

Taught by Jeanne Proust
7:30 p.m. at Living Room

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Sep 19

OlioTrip | Cienfuegos, Cuba

Taught by Teresita Levy
10 a.m. at Cienfuegos, Cuba

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