Mārtiņš Kaprāns. Some Remarks on the Transnational Memory. 25.06.2014

Some Remarks on the Transnational Memory

Mārtiņš Kaprāns
Researcher at the Philosophy and Sociology Institute of the University of Latvia (LU)

Newcomers arrive in a host country, bringing the story of their history with them. It is like invisible, intangible baggage, often stored with a lot of care that people take with them when leaving their birthplace. In these stories, autobiographical experience intertwines with collective memories; they are like palimpsests in which layers of personality, place of origin and national identity have left their imprints. However, when facing the cultural-historical landscape and traditions of the host country, immigrants are involuntarily reminded of their belonging to the country of origin or the receiving country, of the degree to which they are involved in or dissociated from the culture of the host country. Under such circumstances, a transnational memory space develops, in which the memory communities of newcomers and the host country interact with each other. Researchers studying the society have only relatively recently started paying attention to the phenomenon of the transnational memory, which can manifest itself in very different ways, ranging from an official national or international apology for harm done in the past to constructing a global memory. No matter how interesting I might find the versatile fields of transnational memory, the goal of the present article is to look at immigrant memory as a manifestation of the transnational memory. I would like to hope that these remarks will inspire readers to think about problems related to the memory of immigrant communities. Read more..

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