5 Post-apartheid repertoires of memory Artists . . . are not agents of power, but campaigners for invisible values no human being can live without. (Brink, 1996: 58) I turn now from these performances of memory by state or cultural institutions to look at embodied repertoires in the public sphere and in theatres. While the TRC clearly attempted to hear hidden stories and renegotiate the perceptions and values of South Africans, its effect was limited because a state of mind, values, and peoples’ views cannot be easily changed. Thus the extent to which the
8 Women, memory and home defence The history of women and wartime home defence is, as we have seen, distinct from that of men. Summerskill’s struggles in the political arena for women’s membership of the Home Guard were of a different order from Wintringham’s challenges to the organisation’s military and political direction. Both campaigners were outsiders, he for his politics and she because of her gender, but Wintringham’s school was adopted by the War Ofﬁce and he was given an inside role in training, whereas Summerskill and her organisation were always
This book provocatively argues that much of what English writers of the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries remembered about medieval English geography, history, religion, and literature, they remembered by means of medieval and modern Scandinavia. These memories, in turn, figure in something even broader. Protestant and fundamentally monarchical, the Nordic countries constituted a politically kindred spirit in contrast with France, Italy, and Spain. Along with the so-called Celtic fringe and overseas colonies, Scandinavia became one of the external reference points for the forging of the United Kingdom. Subject to the continual refashioning of memory, the region became at once an image of Britain’s noble past and an affirmation of its current global status, rendering trips there rides on a time machine. The book’s approach to the Anglo-Scandinavian past addresses the specific impact of Nordic materials in framing conceptions of the English Middle Ages and positions the literature of medievalism less as the cause of modern Anglo-Nordic interests than as the recurrence of the same cultural concerns that animated early modern politics, science, and natural history. Emphasising multilingual non-literary traditions (such as travel writing and ethnography) and following four topics – natural history, ethnography, moral character, and literature – the focus of Northern Memories is on how texts, with or without any direct connections to one another, reproduced shared tropes and outlooks and on how this reproduction cumulatively furthered large cultural ideas.
invocation of an image of the world as it ought to be. In this sense, it is possible to suggest that as device, figure, or symbol Queen Victoria works within Aboriginal people’s stories about colonisation as a memory that seeks to make present an absence. 12 Not surprisingly, as will become clear, her name was most often evoked by Aboriginal people in the face of threat or in the
A bellicose past entangled all European nations in bloody conflicts. They drew a conclusion from that military and spiritual mobilisation … the imperative of developing new, supranational forms of cooperation after the Second World War. Jürgen Habermas and Jacques Derrida, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (2003) The classic narrative of integration In the previous chapter I showed how Monnet, Schuman, and Adenauer drew on the resources of collective memory they had obtained as a result of the narrative break of 1945 to imagine, motivate, and
. The tragic events of the early period of the conflict have been covered extensively by scholars, from a range of different perspectives (see Hennessey, 2005 ; Kennedy-Pipe, 1997 ). The memory of republican violence has also been studied, including from the perspective of those who have attempted to categorise it as a form of ‘ethnic cleansing’, a term more usually associated with the Balkan wars of the 1990s (Lewis and McDaid, 2017 ). What is perhaps less well studied is how the events at the outbreak of the conflict have come to be remembered collectively in
reconstructs the past, replacing memories that simulate first-hand experience. This has been called ‘prosthetic memory’. As Pam Cook explains, exercises in ‘prosthetic memory’ lay themselves open to charges of lack of authenticity, of substituting a popular version for the ‘real’ event, and to accusations that presenting history as dramatic spectacle they obscure our understanding of social, political and cultural forces. … Yet, in the very act of addressing audiences as nostalgic spectators and encouraging them to become involved in re-presenting the past, the media
This book explores the place of memory in post-apartheid South Africa by analysing state sanctioned-performances of the nation. It first explores how the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) archive was created, and what it means to contemporary South Africa. The book then explores creative responses to the TRC. It examines individual narratives that have become iconic; asking why these have been chosen to represent the experiences of the broader majority. It analyses how contemporary cultural practitioners are particularly exploring various non-realistic, highly performative forms in conjunction with verbatim narratives to reflect on diverse lived realities in South Africa. The inherited apartheid archives embody particular narratives of South Africa, especially those that defined separate cultural identities, with their relative worth and histories. The way these archives of memory were constructed and controlled is important, especially insofar as they affected the social structure of the nation, beyond apartheid legislation. The book looks at how at moments of political crisis or transition, specific narratives of history, from particular cultural perspectives, have been performed in public spaces to define national identities. It also explores how Mbeki used the South Africa-Mali project, within the context of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) to extend the imagined boundaries of the nation. Finally, the book explores contemporary popular performance and theatrical engagements with history and memory.
On 25 March 1977 the Argentinian journalist Rudolfo Walsh posted the now infamous ‘ Carta abierta de un escritor a la junta militar’ (‘A writer's open letter to the military junta’), soon after which he was shot, killed and disappeared by the dictatorship (Walsh, 1977 ). Walsh was one of the estimated thirty thousand people disappeared by the dictatorship (1976–83). Twenty years later, judicial investigations into the crimes of the dictatorship commenced and collective memory-making became commonplace. Walsh's friend Jorge González Perrin
Loyalty, memory and public opinion in England, 1658-1727 makes an important contribution to the ongoing debate over the emergence of an early modern ‘public sphere’. Focusing on the petition-like form of the loyal address, it argues that these texts helped to foster a politically-aware public through mapping shifts in the national ‘mood’. Covering addressing campaigns from the late Cromwellian to the early Georgian period, it explores the production, presentation, subscription and publication of these texts. Through an in-depth examination of the social background of subscribers and the geography of subscription, it argues that addressing activity provided opportunities to develop political coalitions. By exploring the ritual of drafting and presenting an address, it demonstrates how this form was used strategically by both addressers and government. Both the act of subscribing and the act of presenting an address imprinted this activity in both local and national public memory. The memory of addressing activity in turn shaped the understanding of public loyalty. The volume employs corpus analysis techniques to demonstrate how the meaning of loyalty was transformed over the seventeenth and eighteenth-centuries. The shifts in public loyalty, however, did not, as some contemporaries such as Daniel Defoe claimed, make these professions of fidelity meaningless. Instead, Loyalty, memory and public opinion argues for that beneath partisan attacks on addressing lay a broad consensus about the validity of this political practice. Ultimately, loyal addresses acknowledged the existence of a broad ‘political public’ but did so in a way which fundamentally conceded the legitimacy of the social and political hierarchy