Memory Uprooted: Contemporary Cultural Negotiations of Transit and (Temporary) Exile in Portugal during World War II

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


In recent years memory studies have been characterized by approaches that tend to extend the scope beyond the traditional national framework, focusing instead on processes of transfer and circulation that unfold across established territorial, cultural and linguistic borders. Particularly in the context of migratory phenomena it seems moreover necessary to move the conceptualization of memory beyond its identity-bound use of ensuring “the uniqueness and continuity of a group” (A. Assmann 2011, 121). Dislocations of individuals or groups not only generate contexts in which belonging is uncertain, multiple or denied. More importantly, the remembrance of forced or voluntary migration may also serve as a resource not only for critical inquires of the mnemonic realm but also for (re)negotiations of memory cultures and mnemonic communities. Through the analysis of different artistic practices, I will discuss how the remembrance of the refugee presence in Lisbon during World War II may serve as a means to conceive of memory not as rooted in stable lieux de mémoire or mnemonic communities, but rather as outcome of complex heterocultural networks of signification. Instead of dealing with memory transfer or circulation between cultures or groups, this perspective addresses the internal translatedness of any supposedly discrete culture. Through this shift of focus, memory may be redefined as a critical practice that serves as a resource for moving the discussion about migration beyond the dichotomization of difference and common cultural roots.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 13 Sept 2018
EventEurope's Crises and Cultural Resources of Resilience - Vialla Sciarra, Rome , Italy
Duration: 12 Sept 201815 Sept 2018


ConferenceEurope's Crises and Cultural Resources of Resilience
Abbreviated titleECCRR 2018


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