Memoryscapes (digital, locational, imagined) NUBS 4.25
Jul 04, 2023 11:30 - 13:00(Europe/London)
20230704T1130 20230704T1300 Europe/London 1.19. Holocaust memoryscapes NUBS 4.25 MSA Conference Newcastle 2023
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Composite Anne: The Remembrance of Anne Frank in Digital Culture
Individual paperMemoryscapes (digital, locational, imagined) 00:00 Midnight - 11:00 PM (Europe/London) 2023/07/03 23:00:00 UTC - 2023/07/04 22:00:00 UTC
In this essay I seek to understand how digital culture impacts the figure of Anne Frank. More broadly, I explore the ways digital culture impacts the figure of the represented victim to understand the social and cultural implications digital culture bears on practices of Holocaust commemoration. I conduct a critical, comparative multimodal analysis of editions of the diary of Anne Frank from the twentieth century, alongside early adaptations of the diary in theater and films, and contemporary adaptations in virtual reality tours, films, and graphic novels. I argue that digital culture impacts symbols and narratives that were associated with Frank in the twentieth century. From being regarded as an iconic symbol of a Holocaust victim, symbolizing human transcendence and youthful optimism (Alexander, 2002), Frank's figure gains a new representation, characterized by three attributes: (1) a removed participatory position, commemorating Frank through the figure of a friend; (2) a non-linear spatial-temporal perception of the environments mediating her story; (3) a participatory construction of a memoryscape relating to Anne's story. 
With a growing presence of these attributes, I suggest that the new adaptations reflect the major role users have in digital, participatory culture (Jenkins, 2006). While in recent years much attention was given to the configuration of the subject position of users, and their effect on Holocaust commemoration culture (Pinchevski, 2019; Walden, 2019), Frank's contemporary adaptations stress that the user is not only impacted from participatory culture (Henig and Ebbrecht-Hartmann, 2020), but is also impacting  representations of victims. Encouraging subjects to connect and reconstruct a memoryscape relating to her story, Frank's contemporary representations create a sense of a lived experience. In this manner, Anne Frank "loses" her traditionally associated narratives, and the users gain once more an inquiry into her figure through various relations her representation bears with people, images, and places. Today, Frank is not simply an icon of optimism and relief, but a multilayered figure, composited from her previous representations, together with a new inquiry of the past, in virtual, constructed spaces. Dealing with growing user agency and participation, this essay also sets to explore the cultural implications such representations bear on Holocaust commemoration culture, focusing more on user experience and less on the historical figure of Anne Frank. 

Presenters LITAL HENIG
Phd Candidate, The Hebrew University Of Jerusalem
Molding the memory of the Jewish past in 21 century Gdańsk (Poland)
Individual paperMemoryscapes (digital, locational, imagined) 00:00 Midnight - 11:00 PM (Europe/London) 2023/07/03 23:00:00 UTC - 2023/07/04 22:00:00 UTC
Individual and social memory of the Jewish past of the Polish cities and towns may suffer from the passage of time (several decades have passed since the Holocaust), yet, despite thriving anti-semitism, forgetfulness, or indifference of many contemporary Poles, the traces of the Jewish past seem to be carefully recreated or reconstrued. While it may seem to be rather difficult to preserve the material culture – out of 1200 Jewish cemeteries only 800 have been preserved – several attempts have been undertaken to shape the landscape of memory and remembrance, not only via monuments, museums, printed documents, but also via happenings, temporary exhibitions, personal narratives which translate – both literary and metaphorically – the "absent  presence" of the Jewish members of the society. The process of conceptualization of memory and forgetfulness, places of memory (Nora), non-places of memory (Sendyka), and the void in the public space is a vital step towards preserving and reclaiming of the past. As Lehrer, Milton and Patterson (eds., Curating Difficult Knowledge. Violent Pasts in Public Places, 2011) claim, the attempts to re-construct memory of the violent past more often than not is challenged by the official policy and must be multidirectional. Gdańsk with its multinational past, thriving Jewish community in pre-war period, the history of the November pogrom and Kindertransporten, and a small, yet rather active Jewish community in the 21st century is an example of an attempt at refocusing the memory of the Jewish presence by demarginalizing it: just like the Jewish merchants were finally allowed to settle within the city walls in the 19th century, the memory of the Jewish history – and presence – might be reconstructed, reconceptualized and redefined more via fleeting actions (walks, performances or barely visible sgraffito) than by the official educational programmes or state policy. Thus,  as Kapralski states, „[m]emoryscapes form a matrix of possible attitudes towards the past that can be activated in the commemorative actions of individuals and groups."
Olga Kubinska
Assoc. Professor, University Of Gdansk, Poland
"It carried two trailers and tarpaulin-covered corpses. To the forest here". Holocaust non-funeral hearses in the bystander's perspective
Individual paperMemoryscapes (digital, locational, imagined) 00:00 Midnight - 11:00 PM (Europe/London) 2023/07/03 23:00:00 UTC - 2023/07/04 22:00:00 UTC
During the Nazi occupation, cars carrying human corpses were seen on the roads of Polish villages and towns. They were observed by bystanders. It was a common but forgotten experience of the Polish village during the Second World War. As research material, I will use excerpts from interviews I've conducted with direct witnesses in villages called Krępiec and Kazimierzówka, which are situated several kilometers from Lublin and the Majdanek Concentration Camp. The interviewed people are very detailed and emotional, describing the body's transports, describing visual and aural dimensions of the experience.
As cultural traces of intergenerational and local memory transfer, I will discuss a folk sculpture and a poem by a non-professional artist. A miniature wooden car made by a folk sculptor, Franciszek Wacek, was named "A Corpse Carrier" or "Car from Treblinka." We associate it with vehicles transporting victims' bodies or their ashes in the death camp. The object or its prototype was a prop used by the sculptor to illustrate war stories. The poem by  Edward Policha describing the mass killings in Krępiecki Forest depicts the hands protruding from a tractor trailer as if to say goodbye. The poem is presented during local commemorative ceremonies.
 During the speech, I will analyze the cultural significance of non-funeral hearses and attempt to transfer memory about them.
Katarzyna Grzybowska
PhD Student, Jagiellonian University In Kraków
phd candidate
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Assoc. Professor
University of Gdansk, Poland
PhD Student
Jagiellonian University in Kraków
 Hannah  Wilson
Postdoctoral Researcher/Lecturer
Nottingham Trent University
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