Remembering Activism: The Cultural Memory of Protest in Europe


29 April 2024
Reina Sofia museum, Madrid

Ann Rigney presents work at the Reina Sofia museum in Madrid

On Monday 29 April, Ann Rigney presented her work in progress in a lecture entitled “Memories of Protest” at the Reina Sofia museum in Madrid.

Pilar Aymerich, protest organised by the Feminist Coordinator to call for amnesty for women prisoners with the slogan “All Women at Home for Christmas” (December) / subsequent author’s copy. Museo Reina Sofía


About the event

Lecturer and researcher Ann Rigney is a key reference point within contemporary memory studies, conducting research that is situated at the intersections of prose, collective identity and the elusive past.

In recent years, she has developed the project Remembering Activism: The Cultural Memory of Protest in Europe for the European Research Council (ERC), which shines a light on the nexus between memory and activism with respect to cultures of protest in Europe since midway through the nineteenth century. This lecture, organised within the Memory and Forms Seminar from the Museo Reina Sofía’s Study Programme, Connective Tissue, sees Rigney and anthropologist Francisco Ferrándiz engage in conversation about the dimensions, scopes and possibilities of this and other projects under way, with both outlining the main lines of reflection in their work.

Rigney’s emphasis on mapping the memories of utopia and hope consolidates a trend in memory studies which entails moving beyond the main paradigms of their analysis, indebted to the theories of trauma and victimisation. One such paradigm encompasses “cosmopolitan memories”, a term coined by Daniel Levy and Natan Sznaider which centres on the recollection of violent and tragic historical events: from military coup d’états to genocides, “new wars” and forced displacement differing in nature and scope.


More information is available here.