Conflict, Violence and Memory NUBS 3.15
Jul 06, 2023 11:00 - 12:30(Europe/London)
20230706T1100 20230706T1230 Europe/London 6.15. Memories of Displacement NUBS 3.15 MSA Conference Newcastle 2023 conference@memorystudiesassociation.org
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Change in the Memory of Estonian Mass Deportations and its Representations through Film: The Awakening (1989) and In the Crosswind (2014)
Individual paperConflict, Violence and Memory 00:00 Midnight - 11:00 PM (Europe/London) 2023/07/05 23:00:00 UTC - 2023/07/06 22:00:00 UTC
The discussion of Stalinist repressions, especially the deportations, were instrumental for the formation of collective memory and post-Soviet identity in the Baltic States (Davoliute and Balkelis 2018). Since the end of the 1980s, the topic of mass deportations has been consistently explored in literature and life stories, which was in the first half of 1990s a particularly influential medium for the formation and unification of the Estonian national framework of history, including the memory of mass deportations (Kõresaar 2005, 23). Cinematic representations of the mass deportations, however, have not been as numerous. The very first Estonian feature film to focus on the topic of mass deportations is Jüri Sillart's The Awakening ("Äratus", 1989), which is now largely forgotten. Made at the end of the Soviet era and on the brink of re-independence, the film presents the memory of 1949 mass deportations by depicting one day in rural Estonia. More recent and well-known is Martti Helde's In the Crosswind ("Risttuules", 2014), which dramatizes the 1941 June mass deportations. The film is part of the previous decade wave of Baltic deportation films, which emergence is rooted in the Baltic States' general struggle for including the Soviet repressions in to the collective European memory of WWII. On the examples of The Awakening and In the Crosswind, this paper explores how the memory of mass deportations and its representations have changed in Estonia over the course of 25 years. By comparing the aesthetic, formal and narrative choices, and the reception of the two films, I examine how their time of production has affected the mode of representation. I argue that the narrative and aesthetic choices of In the Crosswind (focus on victimhood, use of the empathy mode of memory transmission and symbols from the Holocaust memory culture), and the context in which it was made in (post-EU accession), render the film as part of the "search for recognition" memory paradigm. The Awakening approaches the topic from a different standpoint: by focusing on the machinery of deportations, and highlighting local collaboration and other historical complexities, the film deviates from the representational framework of national victimhood. Therefore, I ask, whether the representational mode of The Awakening is related to the film being produced at the very beginning of the period of national revival, when the national memory narratives had not yet been fully formed and solidified.
Presenters
HA
Hanna Aunin
PhD Student, Tallinn University, ERC Project "Translating Memories: The Eastern European Past In The Global Arena"
The Memory and Postmemory of Forced Displacement - Remembering the Marichjhapi Massacre of 1979
Individual paperConflict, Violence and Memory 00:00 Midnight - 11:00 PM (Europe/London) 2023/07/05 23:00:00 UTC - 2023/07/06 22:00:00 UTC
The 1971 Bangladesh War of Independence resulted in a severe refugee crisis with violent and traumatic after-effects. Millions of East Bengalis were displaced overnight, most of whom sought shelter in the neighbouring nation, India. However, India did not have the appropriate and immediate rehabilitation measures to accommodate such a massive influx of people. The East Bengali refugees were then settled amidst miserable and ill-equipped rehabilitation camps and projects, which led to severe discontentment among the refugee communities and incidents of violent clashes between refugee groups and government bodies - The Marichjhapi Massacre being the starkest example. This paper aims to analyse the multiple strands of forced displacement and migration, together with the 'transtemporal' and transgenerational dynamic of memory and trauma, with a primary focus on the Marichjhapi Massacre in the Sundarbans, West Bengal (1979). 
Transnational migration is experienced as a double loss - of origin and of reality. The immigrants' experience of the present is coloured with a persistent desire for return and a deep sense of longing for their homeland. The East Bengali refugees who tried settling in the Sundarbans in West Bengal had similar emotions and hoped to be closer to home. However, the refugees met with vehement opposition from the State and the Central governments upon their requests to move to West Bengal, a state that shared a boundary with their homeland, Bangladesh. Having faced oppressive ignorance from the government regarding their adversity, one such group of refugees tried squatting and building a settlement on the island of Marichjhapi in the Sundarbans. They were, however, forcefully and brutally evicted from the island of Marichjhapi within a few months. The state also conveniently obliviated the details of the pogrom, which resulted in general amnesia surrounding the horrific event among the masses. In cases like the Marichjhapi Massacre, when the displacement is forced and involuntary, it is often characterised by disassociation, alienation, deracialization, unfathomable physical trauma and post-traumatic stress. Without professional help, the survivors are left to deal with repressed trauma and memories on their own while they struggle to settle among communities. The study of several narratives of the refugees and their next generations has revealed a significant transfer of trauma and memory associated with forced displacement among generations of survivors due to the lack of appropriate rehabilitation processes that cater to their physical and psychological needs. This paper will, thus, attempt to capture and analyse the memory and postmemory of the survivors and witnesses of the Marichjhapi Massacre through literary works and oral narratives that recount the Marichjhapi Massacre of 1979. This study will also seek to understand how literature and oral history, in the broadest sense, become significant sites of mourning and restitution within the field of memory studies.
Presenters
PR
Pratiti Roy
Doctoral Fellow, Indian Institute Of Science Education And Research Bhopal
The Deportation of Romanian Germans to the Soviet Union: A Mnemohistory (Memorialistics, Literature, Law)
Individual paperConflict, Violence and Memory 00:00 Midnight - 11:00 PM (Europe/London) 2023/07/05 23:00:00 UTC - 2023/07/06 22:00:00 UTC
In January 1945, between 70,000 and 80,000 Germans from Romania – men aged between 17 and 45, women aged between 18 and 30 years old – were deported to the Soviet Union (mainly in the Donbas region). Imposed by the Soviets, it was an act of collective punishment, against a community perceived as guilty for having sided with Hitler, and a measure meant to contribute to the 'reconstruction' of the Soviet Union. There was a gender imbalance amongst the deportees, with more than half being women. Many of the Romanian German men were at the time fighting in the Wehrmacht and in the SS. Most of the deportees returned to Romania in 1949 (some already before), yet between 10% and 15% died during the deportation. 
The deportation is definitely a Romanian German (rumäniendeutsch) lieu de mémoire and increasingly a Romanian and Romanian-German one as well. The present paper engages with the mnemohistory of the deportation, from the late 1940s up to the present. It focuses on the way the deportation has been addressed in literature and memoirs, as well as in legislation and politics. It recognizes that remembering the deportation in literature has mainly taken place in and in-between Romania and the Federal Republic of Germany. However, it also draws attention to the fact that the very first novel about the deportation was published in French in 1949, the first memoir in English in 1968, while recent award-winning German-language novels addressing the deportation by Herta Müller and Cătălin Dorian Florescu have been translated in several languages. The paper situates the literary works on the topic, the legal reparative framework developed in order to deal with the deportation, as well as the acts of public memorialization, within the particular Romanian and (West) German national settings, also discussing their interconnections. In doing this, it also shows that addressing the memorialization of the deportation ought to look closely at the entanglements with a series of other closely related memory discourses (the memory of German victimhood, the memory of Romanian German participation in the Second World War, the memory of the Holocaust, the memory of the Gulag). In the final part, the paper draws on this particular case study in order to shed light on broader trends and transformations with respect to the European memory of the Second World War and to address critically the overemphasis on victimhood, which characterizes this memory. 
Presenters
CC
Cristian Cercel
Researcher, Institute For Danube Swabian History And Regional Studies
Armed Conflict, Post-War Memories and Migration Trends in Africa: The Cameroon-Anglophone Experience
Individual paperConflict, Violence and Memory 00:00 Midnight - 11:00 PM (Europe/London) 2023/07/05 23:00:00 UTC - 2023/07/06 22:00:00 UTC
Armed violence against citizens has remained a distinguishing characteristic of most African nations. Despite several condemnations, African governments have sustained violence against the civilian population. Existing studies on Cameroun and the Anglophone crisis have focused on the issues in a narrow sense. This justifies the need for a broader investigation into the nature and dynamics of the conflict, the actors involved, the processes involved, and the consequences for social cohesion and nation-building. Relying on Human Security theory and secondary and primary sources, including interviews among the Anglophone community within and outside the country, the Cameroonian government, rebel groups, humanitarian organizations, and key officials of the United Nations Mission, this study interrogates the impact of state-sponsored violence against the Anglophones and its implications on mass migration from Cameroon, social cohesion, and nation building. This study argues that though violence against the Anglophones is not a recent phenomenon, in the early 1990s, which saw a resurgence in the Anglophone population, agitations of marginalization provoked increased systematic violence, leading to the deaths of several people. Recent reports have equally shown that this problem has been made worse following the Anglophone protest in 2016 and the declaration of independence in 2017, leading to mass atrocities, including killings, burning of villages, rape, torture, forceful detention, cruel treatments, illegal arrests, and even the targeting of key Anglophone leaders within and outside Cameroon. Hence, these traumatic experiences of state-sponsored violence by the Biya regime majorly explain the mass migration of the Anglophone population across the globe, social unrest, Political instability, contested spaces, and the continuing struggle to achieve social cohesion. The traumatic memories of personal experiences, sustained violence against loved ones trapped in Cameroun, and displacement from their ancestral home among several Anglophones in the Diaspora remain a source of grievance even in the post-conflict era. Given these experiences, this study concludes that the United Nations needs to set up an independent commission of inquiry to ascertain the level of violence and punish guilty government officials and leaders of the rebel groups. Also, there is a need to initiate and support transitional justice in the country, as this remains a viable and pragmatic way of building confidence among the Anglophones living within and outside Cameroun. .
Presenters
NE
Nicholas Idris Erameh
Lecturer, Department Of Political Studies & International Relations, North West University, Mafikeng Campus, South Africa
Co-Authors
BF
Busayo Alaba FABUNMI
University Of Ibadan
PhD student
,
Tallinn University, ERC project "Translating Memories: The Eastern European Past in the Global Arena"
Doctoral Fellow
,
Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Bhopal
Researcher
,
Institute for Danube Swabian History and Regional Studies
Lecturer
,
Department of Political Studies & International Relations, North West University, Mafikeng Campus, South Africa
 Susannah Eckersley
Senior Lecturer & Head of Research, Media, Culture, Heritage
,
Newcastle University
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