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Remembering Activism: The Cultural Memory of Protest in Europe

Memoryscapes of 15-M

My PhD project Memoryscapes of 15-M examines the role of cultural memory in the Spanish Indignados movement, asking on the one hand, how memories of other protest movements fed into the 15-M mobilisations and, on the other hand, how activists themselves have been shaping their own remembrance through archival and cultural practices. Building on social movement studies as well as cultural memory studies, I explore how the use of a repertoire functions as both an activist tactic and a mnemonic practice. Throughout my analysis, I will be paying particular attention to the affective dimension of the dynamic relationship between memory and activism, examining  how the political emotions central to activism are linked to and transmitted through the invocation of memory. How do memories of past injustice carry rage into the present?  Can the ideas, concepts, strategies, words and tactics used in protest carry the memory of other movements while also conveying a sense of hope?