Thinking Memory Through Space Materiality, Representation and Imagination


Lectures recorded at the Thinking Memory Through Space symposium held at Goldsmiths, University of London in May 2013

Podcasts in this series

Performing the Space of Disappearance: Elliptic, Synesthetic and Elastic Concentrationary Spaces

Pamela Colombo

Most scholarly research has focussed on the spatial dimension of concentration camps in order to address how space was used to intensify the dehumanization process or to make the annihilation more “effective” (Sofsky, 1997; Agamben, 2000). In these works victims are addressed as subjects that can only suffer the space as a pre-existing reality that precedes subjects perception. Focusing my attention into the lived and imagined dimension of space, the aim of this paper is to explore the way in which concentrationary spaces exist not only as part of a State policy but also as the result of how the victims who are confined there, experience and imagine these spaces. In other words, subjects do not only suffer or resist camp spaces but also produce them. In this sense, concentrationary spaces exist as the result of a “deployed” violence and a “lived” violence.

Wed, 02 Apr 14 2

New Cultures of Bereavement: Mass Graves and The Sociopolitics of Remembrance in Extremadura

Zahira Araguete-Toribio

In the last decade, the location and exhumation of mass graves containing the bodies of the Republican defeated during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) have elicited multiple forms of commemoration in and around these mass burial sites. In the regional context of Extremadura, southwestern Spain, fieldwork conducted in the excavation of mass graves revealed the connections between individual mourning and archaeological interventions, disclosing the salient impact of scientific knowledge on distressing feelings of uncertainty of families and others.

Mon, 10 Feb 14 0

The Politics of the Dead and the Power of Uncertainty: Materiality, Rumours and Human Remains in Post-2000 Zimbabwe

Joost Fontein

In 1898, just before she was hanged for rebelling against colonial rule, Charwe Nyakasikana, spirit medium of the legendary ancestor Ambuya Nehanda, famously prophesised that ‘my bones will rise again’. A century later bones, bodies and human remains have come to occupy an increasingly complex place in Zimbabwe’s postcolonial milieu.

Mon, 10 Feb 14 0

The Body as a Space for Transnational Memory

Marije Hristova

Since the turn of the twentieth century, Spain is going through a revival of the memories of the Spanish civil war (1936-1939). After twenty-five years of relative silence, in 2000 the excavation of the anonymous grave of thirteen civilians killed in Priaranza del Bierzo in 1936, the first in what was going to be a whole cycle of exhumations, brought about an expansive interest in rewriting the history of the civil war from the victims’ perspective.

Mon, 10 Feb 14 0

Contextual Configurations of Civil-War Story Worlds

Maria Elisabeth Huren

This paper ‘thinks memory through space’ in two different, though interrelated, respects: one is concerned with the configuration of story worlds (fictional spaces) in and through literary texts, and the other with the distances that the media vehicles of these story worlds travel in real-world constellations (non-diegetic spaces).

Mon, 10 Feb 14 0