Social Movements As Memory Communities: Collective Remembrance Actions in Contested Contexts

Monday, 11 July 2016: 10:45-12:15
Location: Hörsaal 21 (Main Building)
RC48 Social Movements, Collective Actions and Social Change (host committee)

Language: English

One of the important elements of social movements’ collective action around the world is developing new memory narratives to approach the past and the present in fragile or contested social contexts. This dynamic is usually based on contesting official versions of the past and power relations around the construction of collective remembrance. 
We posit that contemporary social movements are often becoming memory communities, addressing a new set of political, social, and cultural agendas to shape collective representations and meanings of the past. To achieve this goal, movements are developing new narratives, strategies, symbols, and collective actions to address the relationship between symbolic power and the construction of memory regimes. Therefore, the category of memory is highlighting the challenge taken up by particular social movements to shape collective representations and meanings of the past as a new form of socio-political action in the present. 
In this session we would like to analyse how social movements are developing new frames and narratives of memory as a strategy to construct plural political memories at different levels. We invite theoretically driven or empirically grounded papers addressing the following topics:

  • Examples of construction of collective memory through social movements’ expressive actions in contested contexts.
  • Theoretical reflections about modes of remembering and the idea that the past is continually re-constructed and re-presented, so that individual and collective memories can change as a result of contemporary social movements’ action.
  • The role of memory as a tool of truth in contexts of armed conflict, war or in post-authoritarian societies.
Session Organizer:
Camilo TAMAYO GOMEZ, The University of Huddersfield, United Kingdom
Anna DOMARADZKA, University of Warsaw, Poland