September 30, 2019

What is the truth?

Kirsty Lawie, 21

While following the trial of a man accused of the murder of his neighbour I was struck by the power of the jury in determining his fate. Of course, you could argue that he had perhaps sealed his own fate by committing the crime, but that argument only stands up when we know the unequivocal truth and most of the time we don’t.

Prejudice, both positive and negative, effects the perception of truth so wholly and yet is almost unavoidable. I wanted to create a narrator whose regret was so present but not necessarily connected to this crime, in order to explore the murkiness of truth, guilt, and regret. Very few people can understand the core truth of an event, and we are all guilty of inadvertently distorting the truth in our day to day lives: embellishing the stories we tell, or keeping secrets from others. Here, the accused is so vulnerable to other people’s understanding of the truth that it has become more important than the real events in determining his fate.

The accused is discovering that the accepted truth is the one told most compellingly, not the one that is most true.

What is the truth?, 2019