Negotiating Memory Canons: The Issue of Political Violence in Romanian Memory Culture

  • Abstract:

    In 2014, new Romanian legislative modifications challenged the usual interpretations of the 1989 events as a foundational act prompted by popular political will. Starting from its implications, this paper consequently engages with the constraining effects imposed on memory expression by a predominantly anti-communist rationale of relating to the past. Often informing the official “politics of regret”, this epistemological perspective has endowed both justice claims and memorial representations with a unifying understanding of recent history. This contribution argues that the intersection between a local perspective where a moralizing discourse largely informs the rationale of relating to the past and transnational remembrance ethics associated to the European sphere has produced new memorial constructions. By looking at conceptual debates around recent public acts of remembrance and transmission of memory, the paper analyzes “reflexive particularism” (D. Levy 2011) as means of explaining how an apolitical consensus around remembrance and a transnational-oriented configuration of reconciliation have become proper to particular memorial “languages”.