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Discuss the relationship between nationalist and anti-nationalist memories - Essay Example

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History repeats itself and Those who forget history are condemned to repeat it are two clichés that represent the two sides of the debate over the representation of history and the role of memories in shaping the present and guiding the future. It is often said that the past is…
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Discuss the relationship between nationalist and anti-nationalist memories

Download file to see previous pages... of historians, journalists, and demagogues, NGOs’ ad statesmen in invoking the past in a selective or all inclusive manner is indeed crucial in shaping the public discourse over what the past means. Since the topic of the paper is about exploring the connections between nationalist and antinationalist memories, this introduction is to set the context for the paper by alluding to the myriad ways in which the past can both be a source of inspiration as well as a source of conflict. Hence, memories can be nationalistic for a sect or ethnic group and the same memories can be antinationalistic for another sect or ethnic group. It is only when the shared memories lend themselves to commonality and objective interpretation can there being true peace in the world (Wimmer, 28).
The Balkans is often cited by researchers for the prevalence of memories that are nationalistic and antinationalistic. The reason for choosing the Balkans by these researchers can be fathomed from the fact that the Balkans was a place where there were instances of the collective memory of a shared experience giving way to fractious and fissiparous memories mainly due to the internecine civil strife that plagued the region in the 1990’s. The Balkans and the various ethnicities present there are representative of the way in which fragmented memories often take hold when a nation composed of different ethnicities and bound together by slender threads of commonalities give way to strife when the threads cannot hold any more. The way in which some citizens of the erstwhile Yugoslavia remember fondly the times under Tito and the others speak optimistically about the future are emblematic of the memory tricks that the mind can play on people who had a shared past but are now living in divided and fragmented ways (Todorova, 13).
Similar is the case with the Partition of India following the exit of the British from Imperial India following World War Two. Once the British departed, there was an outbreak ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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