Conflict, Violence and Memory NUBS 4.06
Jul 06, 2023 11:00 - 12:30(Europe/London)
20230706T1100 20230706T1230 Europe/London 6.16. Political Violence, Populism and the Far-Right NUBS 4.06 MSA Conference Newcastle 2023
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#DitaduraNuncaMais: Memory, social media and political violence in context of the elections in Brazil in October 2022
Individual paperConflict, Violence and Memory 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM (Europe/London) 2023/07/06 10:00:00 UTC - 2023/07/06 11:30:00 UTC
In the shadow of the presidential elections in Brazil in October 2022, my paper addresses the dynamics of memory discourses, media activism and political violence among different communities. Facing the two polarizing candidates, the Brazilian election process is being portrayed as a major test of Latin America's largest democracy in the global news. On the one hand, the election has been marked by worrying acts of political motivated murders, misinformation on social media, and an anticipation of an outburst of violence by conservative supporters of right-wing politician and ex-military Jair Bolsonaro (Liberal Party), who stated that he won't accept any election result other than his victory. On the other hand, the candidacy of the former leftist president Luis Inácio Lula da Silva (commonly known as "Lula"), is associated with "hope" among the left and Black, indigenous, feminist, LGBTQ*-communities. However, Brazilian voters are still under the negative impression of the large-scale corruption scandal (known as "lava jato", transl.: car wash) of the former left-wing Workers Party (PT) government, in which Lula had been involved, and for which he had eventually been arrested. After these political scandals and the past four years of the populist Bolsonaro-government, including a strong criticism with regards to his mismanagement of the covid-19 pandemic in Brazil, the society seems deeply divided into a strong right-wing political movement centered around the persona of Bolsonaro, and strengthened social movements who support Lula, who is still famous especially in the northeastern regions of Brazil. With nearly two-thirds of Brazilian relying on social media for news, online platforms will likely play a central role in the coming weeks of the election process.Against this background, my study aims at the (de)legitimizations of both candidates and their political agendas in the media, the political use of memory discourses and the interpretations of political violence. My theoretical perspective com­bines theoretical concepts of interdiscipli­nary memory studies with approaches from media and communi­cation studies as well as questions of recog­nition and social justice. The focus of my empirical analysis will be on social media, which re-mediate memories of dictatorship like e.g. various posts under the prominent hashtag #DitaduraNuncaMais (transl.: dictatorship never again) or the popular political campaign #LULApalooza on Instagram and Twitter. Moreover, I will present some first insights from my field research in the Brazilian metropolis São Paulo in 2022/23, and discuss the current social and political conflicts and changing memory discourses in the public and counter-public arenas.Co-author Pablo Pamplona
Kaya De Wolff
Post-Doc, Goethe University Frankfurt / The Frankfurt Memory Studies Platform
Co-Authors Pablo Pamplona
PhD Candidate, Universidade De São Paulo
Images of Jews in Poland – long-lasting stereotypes
Individual paperThe Coloniality and Decolonising of Memory 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM (Europe/London) 2023/07/06 10:00:00 UTC - 2023/07/06 11:30:00 UTC
In contemporary Poland one can observe the existence of visual stereotypes about Jews that take very different forms, such as souvenirs, cartoons, figurines etc. They refer to the imaginary figure of a Jew, who, in most of the cases, is a man wearing traditional Chassidic clothes and whose image appeals to the stereotypes associated with trade and wealth. On a meta level, such image constitutes the representation of the Other. 
In my presentation, I intend to trace back the connection between these contemporary images and its sources dating back to interwar antisemitic cartoons. The caricature's power, coming from its condensed meaning and accessible form, was quickly recognized, and as early as during the Great War it became the potent weapon used to create the propagandist image of the enemy. With the emergence of the Second Polish Republic in 1918, there came a massive development of the press with satirical journals occupying a special place. Cartoons addressed current issues concerning multicultural society (in which Jews constituted around 10% of the population), religious and ethnic conflicts, politics, and economy. 
My aims are to show the ways of creating the figure of Jew in the visual sphere, and to recognize both visual and linguistic elements of cartoons referring to specific stereotypes. I am going to demonstrate how they are linked with the images of Jews that can be encountered in the contemporary Polish public space to prove the longevity of certain visual stereotypes. I intend to trace the way in which anti-Semitic clichés infiltrate the mainstream imagery in the public space. I will employ a methodological approach derived from the studies of visual culture, humour, stereotypes and decoloniality.
Aleksandra Guja
PhD Candidate, Jagiellonian University
Cherry-Picking Memory: Anti-Resistance Aesthetic and Narratives in the Propaganda of Giorgia Meloni and the Italian Far-Right
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
On 25 September 2022, the right-populist coalition led by Giorgia Meloni, leader of the far-right party "Fratelli d'Italia" (Brothers of Italy), won the last Italian general elections. The historical and political foundations of Brothers of Italy lay in the "Movimento Sociale Italiano" (Italian Social Movement, MSI), the first post-fascist institutional party in Italy arose from the ashes of fascism in the post-war period. Conscious of this uncomfortable legacy, Meloni has skilfully avoided to address public conversations around the fascist drive persisting in her movement, even when references have been proved by episodes documenting its members praising Mussolini and the fascist regime. 
Nevertheless, her propaganda characterises of a strong anti-left-wing orientation that takes advantage of the conflictual relationship that has shaped Italy's memory narratives, divided between official stories praising the Resistance War on one hand, and revisionist tendencies towards a rehabilitating perception of Italy's fascist past on the other. As previous research suggests, revisionist discourses entered the public and political debate through the decades contributing to the decline of anti-fascist feelings. As a result, the dividing lines between fascism and anti-fascism ended up blurred, and memory of the Resistance delegitimised.
With the popularisation of social media platforms as central arenas of today's public and political debate, anti-Resistance discourses appear to be normalised as part of anti-left and nationalist propaganda implemented by far-right actors. On platforms such as Facebook, for instance, attempts at minimising the cultural and historical memory of the Italian Resistance had become a key element of Meloni's communication. Narratives shared by today's far-right actors build-up on cherry-picking practices that rely on selected memories and aesthetic elements to favour alternative interpretations of historical events. These may include the use of language, images, and symbols calling indirectly to Italy's fascist past and drawing from its aesthetic and cultural repertoire. 
This paper explores some of the key aesthetic elements and practices informing the anti-Resistance narratives shared by Giorgia Meloni and her political allies by analysing materials, textual and visual, collected online. Particular attention is paid to Facebook, one of the most popular social media platforms among Italian users. The paper discusses how conflictual memory issues are incorporated in today's Italian far-right propaganda with the aim of discrediting the image of the Resistance War and rehabilitating Italy's fascist past as a legitimate ideological reference in an increasingly polarized and divisive socio-political scenario.
Presenters Erica Capecchi
PhD, University Of Bristol
The Holocaust, Culture of Memory, and the Radical Right in Germany
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
How does the memory of the Holocaust and the contestation of culture of memory continue to interact with current electoral politics in Germany? This paper aims to improve our understanding of how different framings of historical guilt and continued responsibility influence citizens' views of the past, attitudes to outgroups, and voting decisions. It relies on a survey experiment in which respondents are presented with vignettes outlining different framings of guilt and responsibility for the Holocaust: a "contrition frame" emphasizing the continued importance to remember, and "normalization frame" which is emphasized by the radical right. Exploring citizens' reactions to these framings helps us to analyse how different societal narratives, policies, and political contexts interact with individual characteristics in shaping contemporary attitudes to remembrance and outgroup hostility. The analysis will also shed light on the factors which make citizens susceptible to revisionist accounts relativizing the past, for example by radical right parties. Understanding these factors will be an important starting points to design remembrance initiatives and civic education approaches which are effective in increasingly diverse and polarized societies. 
Julian Hoerner
University Of Birmingham
Toni Rodon
Assistant Professor, Universitat Pompeu Fabra
PhD Candidate
Universidade de São Paulo
University of Bristol
University of Birmingham
PhD Candidate
Jagiellonian University
Goethe University Frankfurt / The Frankfurt Memory Studies Platform
 Tamara Kolarić
Assistant professor
Dublin City University
Research Associate
Leipzig University
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