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Tag: Memory policy

The forbidden theme of repression: History in the service of authoritarian politics

The Kremlin is striving to erase any historical discourse that undermines the official narrative that Russia must be ruled by an authoritarian system of government. History is rewritten, its dark chapters are glossed over, and independent historians are repressed. This is not just a whim of the former KGB officers who rule the country. Their goal is to perpetuate practices that strengthen Russian authoritarianism, which is based on systemic violence against the country’s citizens.

November 30, 2021 - Maria Domańska

Babyn Yar: When will the tragedy be finally commemorated?

Babyn Yar in Kyiv is the site of the largest Holocaust massacre on Ukrainian territory. The Nazis executed around 100,000 people from 1941 to 1943 on the site, including the killing of 33,771 Jews over two days – September 29-30th 1941. Today it is a place where an appropriate memorial to honour the victims has yet to be created. Since the Ukrainian state has been unable to take responsibility for such a project for years now, private actors have taken it on.

It has been 79 years since the massacre of Babyn Yar. Naturally, commemorative initiatives have been intensifying in Ukraine in recent years, as they usually do before round figure anniversaries. At the moment, there are at least two memorial projects at Babyn Yar, and both have a common aim: to commemorate the Babyn Yar massacre.

July 7, 2020 - Svitlana Oslavska

Past Continuous: Is Bandera replacing Lenin?

A review of Past Continuous: Історичнаполітика 1980-х-2000-х: Українатасусіди, (Past Continuous: Political History 1980s-2000s: Ukraine and its neighbours). By: Georgiy Kasyanov. Publisher: Laurus, Kyiv, 2018.

Historical policy is among the most discussed issues in post-Maidan Ukraine, and the discussion goes beyond Ukrainian borders. Important changes have taken place since 2014, namely decommunisation and the glorification of Ukrainian nationalism – including the controversial leader of Ukrainian nationalists, Stepan Banders, who is generally considered an extremist. This generates heated discussion outside Ukraine.

November 5, 2018 - Marek Wojnar

A right to remember, a right to forget

A review of Law and Memory: Towards Legal Governance of History. Edited by Uladzislau Belavusau and Aleksandra Gliszczyńska-Grabias. Publisher: Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK 2017.

With the most recent wave of illiberal governments rising to power in Central and Eastern Europe, memory politics was reintroduced at the top of the policymaking agenda. Following years of relative abnegation, in which various liberal, social-democratic and post-communist partisan formations deemed this area a politically unrewarding dimension, the present-day authorities of the region have prioritised it as one of the paramount pillars of their identity politics. Oftentimes seeing themselves as monopolistic memory agents, proprietaries of the only true vision of the past and collective memory, these groupings deliberately blur the distinction between the politics of the past and the present.

February 26, 2018 - Mateusz Mazzini

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