Memory is not commonly imagined as a site of possibility for progressive politics. More often, memory, particularly in the form of nostalgia, is condemned for its solipsistic nature, for its tendency to draw people into the past instead of the present. This is the case, for example, in Kathryn Bigelow’s 1995 film Strange Days , in which the use of memory – usually another
’ wartime experiences play a prominent role, as emblematic. By presenting his ‘story’ this way, he rendered his high-achieving, atypical family unremarkable: sharing the poignancy of loss that was common to so many families and communities. Examining the intimate ways in which siblings ‘kept’ the memory of brothers contributes to our understanding of how the war is remembered. 3 Revealing and recording love is one of the vital functions of war writing, states Kate McLoughlin. 4 Often these memories remained hidden from view, recorded in private letters and diaries
As a technology able to picture and embody the temporality of the past, cinema has become central to the mediation of memory in modern cultural life. The memory of film scenes and movies screens, cinema and cinema-going, has become integral to the placement and location of film within the cultural imagination of this century and the last. This book is a sustained, interdisciplinary perspective on memory and film from early cinema to the present. The first section examines the relationship between official and popular history and the constitution of memory narratives in and around the production and consumption of American cinema. The second section examines the politics of memory in a series of chapters that take as their focus three pivotal sites of national conflict in postwar America. This includes the war in Vietnam, American race relations and the Civil Rights Movement, and the history of marginality in the geographic and cultural borderlands of the US. The book explores the articulation of Vietnam. The final section concentrates on the issue of mediation; it explores how technological and semiotic shifts in the cultural terrain have influenced the coding and experience of memory in contemporary cinema. It considers both the presence of music and colour in nostalgia films of the 1990s and the impact of digital and video technologies on the representational determinants of mediated memory. The book also examines the stakes of cultural remembering in the United States and the means by which memory has been figured through Hollywood cinema.
This article discusses how Armenians have collected, displayed and exchanged the bones of their murdered ancestors in formal and informal ceremonies of remembrance in Dayr al-Zur, Syria – the final destination for hundreds of thousands of Armenians during the deportations of 1915. These pilgrimages – replete with overlapping secular and nationalist motifs – are a modern variant of historical pilgrimage practices; yet these bones are more than relics. Bone rituals, displays and vernacular memorials are enacted in spaces of memory that lie outside of official state memorials, making unmarked sites of atrocity more legible. Vernacular memorial practices are of particular interest as we consider new archives for the history of the Armenian Genocide. The rehabilitation of this historical site into public consciousness is particularly urgent, since the Armenian Genocide Memorial Museum and Martyr’s Church at the centre of the pilgrimage site were both destroyed by ISIS (Islamic State in Syria) in 2014.
memory and the future 95 5 1 Memory and the future Imaginations of socially just futures for humans usually take the idea of single, homogenous, secure historical time for granted. – Dipesh Chakrabarty2 Studies of processes and practices of memory explore how people respond to events in the past: how they remember, forget, account for, forgive, memorialise, or commemorate what has happened, and, often, how the way in which they do so produces, reproduces or challenges certain forms of politics or certain specific political structures and systems located in
occasions. (Paula González Seguel) It is not easy to address the experience of collective and creative work within MapsUrbe. The Collective was conceived as an exercise in the discovery of Mapuche memories and identities in the city of Santiago, based on David Aniñir’s work, Mapurbe . However, on a personal level, it also implied an exercise in mnemonic openness, as well as academic and sentimental socialisation. This piece seeks to reflect on the meanings entailed
Debates on the relevance of repatriation of indigenous human remains are water under the bridge today. Yet, a genuine will for dialogue to work through colonial violence is found lacking in the European public sphere. Looking at local remembrance of the Majimaji War (1905–7) in the south of Tanzania and a German–Tanzanian theatre production, it seems that the spectre of colonial headhunting stands at the heart of claims for repatriation and acknowledgement of this anti-colonial movement. The missing head of Ngoni leader Songea Mbano haunts the future of German–Tanzanian relations in heritage and culture. By staging the act of post-mortem dismemberment and foregrounding the perspective of descendants, the theatre production Maji Maji Flava offers an honest proposal for dealing with stories of sheer colonial violence in transnational memory.
2 ‘A warmer memory’: speaking of Ireland 1 COLIN GRAHAM The colonized considers those venerable scholars relics and thinks of them as sleepwalkers who are living in an old dream. (Memmi 1990 : 172) [He] says that in the course of his labours it would happen that inspiration failed him: he then would go downstairs and out of his house, and enter a public urinal whose odor was suffocating. He breathed deeply, and having thus ‘approached as close as he could to the object of his horror’, he returned to his work. I cannot help recalling the author
In this chapter I want to explore, within a context of culture and power, the complex relations between memory and desire. 1 More specifically, I want to connect 1980s Hollywood representations of America’s war in Vietnam (what I will call ‘Hollywood’s Vietnam’) with George Bush’s campaign, in late 1990 and early 1991, to win support for US involvement
2 Stowe’s sunny memories of Highland slavery Judie Newman [They], counting the natives as their slaves and their prey, disposed without scruple of them and all that they had, just as it suited their own interest or convenience, reckless of the wrongs and misery they inﬂicted on these simple, unresisting people . . . removed from their comfortable houses and farms in the interior.1 An almost sublime instance of the benevolent employment of superior wealth and power in shortening the struggles of advancing civilisation.2 Two descriptions of the same system: one