WHOSE MEMORY HERE?: Response to Steve Zeitlin and Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett
I read both posts side by side as a dialogue on the meaning of “historical sites with powerful memories and associations.” Both brought me to the question of “whose memory is preserved here, and why?”
In my own experience of visiting sacred sites in India, I understood that such ‘sites of memory’ possess layers of memory and are frequently highly charged with political memory and therefore contested. This was certainly the case in Ayodhya.
Being Polish-American, I was moved by Barbara’s statement that the proposed memorial in Warsaw will be “remembering how they lived, a story of 1000 years.” Judaism in Poland has a long history, a memory that was lost to tragedy and needs to be ‘re-minded’ by both Poles and visitors.
Steve’s proposal for a ‘myen’ would work if we all stayed in our community of origins, but none of us have and so how would we account for changes in memory?
Both thought provoking examples.