’Wounded Attachments’ and Memory Making in Eastern Europe

    • Presentation speakers
      • Dana Dolghin, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands


    This presentations considers the entanglement between official memory narratives and what W. Brown identifies as ‘wounded attachments’ (Brown 1995). Since politics of recognition are reliant on manners of referring to the past, much of the remembrance practice in Europe juxtaposes an acknowledgement of a state of being injured and injurable and national imaginaries. Memory, moreover, is increasingly employed to codify participation, notions of citizenship and transnational constructs. Considering such ‘surfeit of memory’ (Ch. Maier), however, Brown warns that a memory based identity politics runs the inevitable risk of foreclosing the emancipatory premises of politicized identities. The presentation takes as points of convergence of these debates several post-socialist cases such as the Museums of Occupation (Latvia and Estonia) – resonating a European understanding of memory – and discourses proposed by the few post-1989 truth (historical) commissions in Romania and the Baltics, all of which rhetorically revert to uses of politicized identities. Much of the official narratives proposed in these cases employ an ‘emphatic unsettlement’ that rejects both straightforward linear narratives of recovery and integral systems of truth and reconciliation. The analysis tracks how such instances of public memory engage with politicized identities. How do the double occupation paradigm and anti-communism then work with different intensities of nationalism? How do ‘memory imperatives’ (the Prague 2008 declaration is a case in point) intervene in these rhetorical uses of political subjectivities?