Remembering Activism: The Cultural Memory of Protest in Europe

Memoryscapes of Protesting Youth, 1963-68

(Duration of the project Feb 2019 – Jan 2021)

How is the past relevant in youth movements acting to change the world? My project aims to answer this question by mapping the memoryscapes of two European youth movements in the 1960s: the Democratic Youth Lambrakis in Greece, and the Außerparlamentarische Opposition in West Germany. Both movements emerged in the wider context of youth “rebellion” in the 1960s and responded to the challenges of their Cold War world by promoting claims for modernization, democratization, and cultural multivocality. Initial results have shown that while these activists were looking towards the future,  the past also appeared time and again in their cultural and political practices. By exploring from a comparative perspective the repositories and repertoires of memory in these two youth movements, and by exploring their interconnections, my research aims to shed light on the role of the past and its conceptualizations in shaping hopes and promoting visions for political and cultural change in the particular conditions of the 1960s.