“Schwerer ist es, das Gedächtnis der Namenlosen zu ehren als das der Berühmten. Dem Gedächtnis der Namenlosen ist die historische Konstruktion geweiht.“
(“It is harder to honour the memory of the nameless than that of the famous. Historical construction is dedicated to the memory of the nameless.”)
“Passages” by Dani Karavan (photo: Phil Kuehlthau)
These two phrases are written on the monument “Passages” created by the artist Dani Karavan in front of the Mediterranean Sea in the bay of Portbou in memory of Walter Benjamin. They are drawn from Benjamin’s last essay “On the Concept of History,” written in 1939, one year before he committed suicide in Portbou, Spain. Both phrases give an idea of what historical work should be dedicated to according to Benjamin: to the remembrance of the nameless, whose memory is more difficult to honour than that of the famous.
Memory is closely linked to oblivion: According to Aleida Assmann, oblivion is, in contrast to memory, the norm. In communities such as societies, not everything can be remembered, and that is the reason why such communities need to decide what (events, experiences, acts etc.) and who (individual persons or collective groups) to remember. But who are the agents of remembrance? Continue reading →
An international conference will take place in Paris in May 2018 to take a fresh look at the 1848 revolutions. The focus will be on the protagonists of the People’s Spring (printemps des peuples/ Völkerfrühling).
Frédéric Sorrieu, La République universelle démocratique et sociale, 1848. Source: http://grial4.usal.es/MIH/struggleForFreedom/en/index.html
Papers are invited on the following themes:
The new rulers and their entourage
Protagonists at the interface of the national and the local