Memorial Interventions: Negotiating Paths through Complicated Pasts
Creating suitable monuments to historical figures and events has turned into an ever more complicated endeavour, as seen in the recent reconsideration and toppling of controversial statues. This talk examines a range of memorial interventions, from occupational culture to Holocaust markers, designed to subtly disrupt everyday perception.
Who is entitled to decide what should be publicly remembered and in what form? What are the motives behind such initiatives and how do their creators seek to imprint their message on present and future generations? How effective are small memorial interventions in stirring public discussion of the past? And how does intentional memorial activity compare to actual evidence of historical events in everyday life?
Regina Bendix is Professor and Chair of European Ethnology at the University of Göttingen, Germany. Starting in the mid-1990s, her research interests and fieldwork focused on cultural tourism (primarily in Austria) embedded within the larger historical project of popular ethnography in the late 19th-century Austro-Hungarian Empire. Since moving to Germany, she has devoted significant ethnographic attention to the workings of the academic framework in Germany. Her research emphases continue to focus on narrative, tourism, heritage and culture, the ethnography of the senses, the history of cultural fields of research, and the culture of academia.
The talk will be followed by a reception featuring traditional produce from the North-East of Scotland