In Transit: Remediation, Transcription and the Memory of World War II Refugees in Lisbon

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The aim of this paper is to explore contemporary artistic representations of refugees in Lisbon during the Second World War. After the fall of France, Lisbon became the most important transit station for European refugees escaping Nazi persecution and war. Between 60.000 and 80.000 refugees passed through Portugal (Pimentel and Ninhos 2013; Schaefer 2014). After years of absence from the public sphere in Portugal, the refugees have received considerable academic and public attention since the late 1990s. Contemporary artistic negotiations of transit and (temporary) asylum in Portugal have interrogated not only hegemonic remembrance in Portugal, but also the materiality of memory. Within the framework of “remediation” (Erll and Rigney 2012) and “transcription” (Jäger 2011) I aim to show how contemporary representations of World War II refugees such as Sob Céus Estranhos (Blaufuks, 2002/2007) and Fantasia Lusitana (Canijo, 2010) deconstruct not only the hegemonic memory of Lisbon as a peaceful zone of transit, but also totalizing memory narratives in general. In line with recent work in transcultural memory studies (cf. for instance Rothberg 2009; Crownshaw 2011; Erll 2011), memory is conceptualized as mediated and subject to an ongoing process of (re)negotiation of the meaning of the past.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 25 Nov 2016
EventRoutes of Difference: Migration in Artistic, Academic and Media Discourses, 6th Graduate Conference in the Study of Culture - Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 24 Nov 201625 Nov 2016


ConferenceRoutes of Difference


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