Accepted Paper:

Building possible pasts  


Maria Leticia Ferreira (Universidade Federal de Pelotas)

Paper short abstract:

In this paper, I discuss the conection between memory and imagination based on a study about a pomeranian comunnity in the town of São Lourenço, southern Brazil. The pomeranian ethnic group that for long time was ignored, nowadays is overvalued through a local policy of "past invention".

Paper long abstract:

The town of São Lourenço do Sul is located in the south of Brazil, by the river São Lourenço do Sul and was a site populated by european immigrants in the 19th century. These immigrants were portuguese,germans and the Pomeranians. For a long time the town presented itself as german, although in fact that was a multiethnic society. Regarding pomeranians, there was a feeling of shame, for the fact that they didn't speak portuguese nor german, and the category used to classify them was of "settlers", in other words, coarse mood peasants.

In 2004, with a new local governement , a recover work of the pomeranian ethnic group in the region begins, and together festivities, rituals, elements of cookery, they are all rescued and in a short period the local population wacthes itself inside a great "theater of memory", and some cultural traces that were kept in the ordinary life, become cultural heritage.

The political speech approaches a "rescue of the identity of this people, valuing the tourism as a source of economy.... the search for the past with the eyes on the future" (O Lourenciano, p.2, 2008).

Our research consists in verifyng the impact of these interventions in this society, and how it accepts this heritaged past as true, an invented past, shaped in the present.

Panel W110
Enacting pasts and futures: memory, identity and imagination