Memory, Activism and Social Justice NUBS 2.08
Jul 07, 2023 09:00 - 10:30(Europe/London)
20230707T0900 20230707T1030 Europe/London 8.11. Archives, media and memory activism NUBS 2.08 MSA Conference Newcastle 2023
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Memory and far-right historiography: The case of the Christchurch shooter
Individual paperConflict, Violence and Memory 09:00 AM - 10:30 AM (Europe/London) 2023/07/07 08:00:00 UTC - 2023/07/07 09:30:00 UTC

This presentation investigates far-right conceptions of history and memory through the case of the Christchurch shooter. Scholarly work on far-right memory is still in its infancy, and research into the Christchurch shooter in particular has underplayed this crucial aspect of his ideological drive for violence. By investigating the narrative elements of his historiography – drawn from an analysis of his manifesto and the numerous historical and contemporary references he scribbled on his weaponry – I argue that far-right extremism taps into a range of historical templates to structure a trajectory of time and historical development that seeks to legitimize present violence in relation to the legacies and exemplary instances of the past as well as historically contingent aspirations for the future. The danger of this memory working is its utility – through the channels of digital culture and communication – in promising to canonize the terrorist as a historicized object in a chronicle of ancient struggle, providing temporalized purpose to his violence in both a retrospective and prospective manner. Finally, after more than 4 years since the attack, I evaluate how the memory of Christchurch itself and the shooter’s historiography currently stands in the wider far-right imaginary today.

Phillip Stenmann Baun
PhD Student, Aarhus University
Far-right Digital Memory Activism: Emergence of (Neo)fascist memory
Individual paperConflict, Violence and Memory 09:00 AM - 10:30 AM (Europe/London) 2023/07/07 08:00:00 UTC - 2023/07/07 09:30:00 UTC
Building on the previous work on transnational circulation of RemoveKebab and Pepe the frog memes in far-right communities, the paper proposes for the introduction of concept of (neo)fascist memory as a new kind of memory enabled in digital space. The paper establishes differences between illiberal and (neo)fascist memory, introducing the main characteristics of (neo)fascist memory: celebration of crimes and heroization of terrorists and war criminals, use of hate speech and incentive to violence which are ubiquitous in the far-right memory production. Developed in fringed online communities, like 4Chan/pol far-right memory activism is picked-up by traditional media and visible to the main-stream media users only following the violent outbursts like terrorist attacks making it available for the broader audiences. The focus on the memory of Yugoslav wars is only one example of (neo)fascist memory, as their actors also engage in the re-evaluation and signification of fascist movements and regimes from inter-war period. The paper proposes that research of far-right memory activists within the new (neo)fascist memory provides a new understanding of memory in digital age.

Katarina Ristic
Lecturer, Global And European Studies Institute, Leipzig University
Facilitating the Transnational Flow of Leslie Cheung’s Memory Across Borders to Mainland China—A Rogue Archive in Bilibili
Individual paperBeyond Disciplinary Communities 09:00 AM - 10:30 AM (Europe/London) 2023/07/07 08:00:00 UTC - 2023/07/07 09:30:00 UTC
Leslie Cheung was an emblematic character of the 1980s and 1990s Hong Kong music, movies, and popular culture, who ended his life in 2003 in a fit of depression. Although Leslie has gone for nearly two decades, the public does not seem to forget him. For some, Leslie was one of the few stars whose posthumous frame may be comparable to Elvis Presley's in the Chinese-speaking world. Additionally, the death of his body causes a peculiar 'Hou Rong Mi' phenomenon, which means people who did not Leslie before his death do so now and have become his fans since 2003 (Luo, 2009). A fundamental reason why Leslie can attract more and more young generations to be his fans across mainland China is that a collective memory has been built among the public through commemorations on various platforms. As Wang (2007, p.333) points out, the media has played an essential role in disseminating his charisma by 'transplanting Cheung's memory from the older generation to the younger generation'.
However, when transplanting Leslie's memory, fans have to deal with the issue that many commemorative and historical materials available on social media sites (e.g. Instagram, Facebook) are censored in mainland China. In order to find out how fans negotiate with the authority's censorship to bring Leslie's memory flow from other regions to mainland China, I explore the content of Leslie Cheung's channel on Bilibili, as a substitution for YouTube in the mainland. The channel includes 80,000 videos uploaded by users themselves and has 74,000 followers. These videos include Leslie's films, his interviews in other countries, and other materials from Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. By analysing these videos and the related comments, I argue that fans construct Leslie Cheung's rogue archive by selectively moving the censored content to mainland China, which breaks down the barriers of censorship for a transnational flow of memory. Nevertheless, despite the fact that fans have broken down the barriers constructed by censorship to construct Leslie's rogue archive, the archive still faces threats due to copyright issues and censorship. 
The research is an interdisciplinary study that incorporates memory studies, stardom studies, fandom studies, and social media studies, expanding the boundaries of memory studies. It contributes to understanding the construction of transnational memory in the context of Chinese censorship across debates in memory studies, star studies and fan studies.

Presenters Ning Zhang
Mr, University Of Nottingham
University of Nottingham
Global and European Studies Institute, Leipzig University
PhD Student
Aarhus University
PhD Researcher
University of Brighton/IFK Vienna
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