Follow-up on Cultural Memory in France and Bosnia

On April 24, the Moving Europe project continued with two presentations on cultural memory, both of which raised questions dealing with national identity and absences within representations of the past. 

Soraya Tlatli (University of California, Berkeley, French Department) presented on “Fragmented Memories in Postcolonial France” with a focus on the representation of Algerian immigrants in the national history of post-colonial France. She first discussed the repression and denial of the 1961 massacre of Algerians in Paris.  She then turned to the French National Immigration Museum, which opened in 2007. The museum is housed in the Palais de la Porte Dorée, formerly the home of the Musée national des Arts d’Afrique et d’Océanie, which began as a colonial exhibition. The colonial past of the exhibition space thus stands in tension with the French government’s attempt to represent a more inclusive depiction of its past.

Emina Musanovic (University of California, Berkeley, German Department) gave a talk entitled “Clean New Spaces in Cleansed Old Towns: Building a Europe without Ottomans in Bosnia,” which focused on the Serbian-identified filmmaker Emir Kusterica and the mini-town of Andricgrad he is constructing within the city of Visegrad in Republika Srpska, the Serbian half of Bosnia and Herzegovina.  Rather than a site of historical preservation, Andricgrad imagines a Balkan renaissance city that never underwent the Ottoman occupation and thus functions as a monument of Christoslavism. At the same time, however, numerous sites in Visegrad where Bosnians were murdered by Serb military forces in the 1990s remain unmarked.

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