Accepted Paper:

The interaction between private and public memories in Estonia  
Inge Melchior (VU University Amsterdam)

Paper long abstract:

The harsh deportations to Siberia enforced by Stalin (1941/1949), have left deep scars in the Estonian society. This paper addresses how these scars manifest themselves in the everyday life of ordinary families in Estonia. How are people reminded of the deportations within the private spheres of their own houses? With whom do they share their stories? Moreover this paper questions the circumstances in which a nationally shared narrative is being mobilized to frame and acknowledge personal experiences. When is it important for Estonians to see their personal stories reflected in the public landscape? What does the national commemoration day (14th June) mean to ordinary people? This interaction between communicative and cultural memories is especially important to address in the Estonian case, where after years of repression it is finally possible to share communicative memories publicly, but where simultaneously these 'newly' established national narratives are being contested by Western European historiographies.

Panel W067
Memory of crises and traumas: evocations, representations, reclamations in social communication, and cultural creativity