Online Panel – 12th July, 2022 (10 – 12 CET)

Memory and Solidarity in migratory contexts.

Work-in-Progress and Future perspectives

This panel asks about the intersections between memory and solidarity with a special interest in individuals and groups living in migrant, diasporic or exile contexts. Memory and solidarity are thereby understood in their transnational significance for practices of identification and belonging. The contributors shed light on facets of these intersections from disciplinary backgrounds in anthropology, sociology and communication/media studies. Based on insights from ongoing projects, the panel touches upon questions on the study of biographical memory and media studies, the role of digital citizenship and transnational activism, and network activities in the production of memory and solidarity. As migration plays a fundamental role in the field of memory studies, the discussion aims to raise awareness of the different regional, temporal and historical frameworks of migration and how these require reflective approaches in the study of memory cultures.

The main interests are therefore: What questions and future perspectives arise in the context of migration and memory research? Why is the aspect of solidarity an important one and how can it help to think migration and memory cultures in their diversity?

Entire length: 2 hrs (120 min)

Contributions: 15 min + 10 min discussion

Final discussion: 20 min

Cathrine Bublatzky (Heidelberg)

In Solidarity – Resisting and commemorating from a distance? Digital transformation of migratory citizenship and Solidarity in times of the pandemic.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and of new dimensions of immobility and social distancing, the increasing use of social information technologies and online media platforms in everyday life has given rise to complex dynamics of digital citizenship. In solidarity, online communities and individuals “claim rights over the internet” in response to injustice and oppression, and strengthen belonging and resistance through their actions. As part of ethnographic research about an Iranian exile artist and activist in Germany, this paper explores digital activities of commemoration and resistance from the distance (Ebbrecht-Hartmann 2020) as forms of solidarity and digital citizenship (Isin/Rupport 2020)


Johanna Paul (Bielefeld)

Putujući spomenik ‘Prijedor 92’: A travelling monument as example of transnational mobilisation through public art interventions

Artistic approaches play an important role in the deliberation about how to memorialise the genocidal atrocities committed against Prijedor’s non-Serb population in the early days of the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina (1992-95). In this article, I address an art project based on the travelling monument ‘Prijedor ‘92’ developed by the young Vienna-based artist Anita Zečić as one example. In her hometown Prijedor, local authorities promote Serb war narratives and obstruct the preservation and memorialisation of former concentration camp sites and the creation of memorials dedicated to the civilian victims in public spaces. The artist therefore suggests alternative ways to advance their memorialisation and uses artistic means to raise wider awareness and mobilise community members and wider audiences both in BiH and abroad. In this presentation, I first introduce the artist and reflect upon her positioning as a member of the 1.5 generation. Second, I explain the concept of this travelling public art installation and analyse what functions the project can play in the transnational mobilisation. The monument travelled to diverse locations where it was set up temporarily to seek acknowledgement for the crimes and their victims as well as support for the local efforts against continued human rights violations. I obtained the material for this article through multi-sited, ethnographic fieldwork in the context of a larger project on transnational memory activism in relation to genocide in Prijedor, especially through interviews with the artist and observations at some of the exhibitions.


Andrei Linchenko (Moscow)

Images of mnemonic solidarity of Russian Germans in Russia and Germany: autobiographical memory and media discourses

The report represents the results of the study of autobiographical memory of the Russian Germans, conducted in 2018 in Germany and in 2019 in Russia. Based on the work of R. Brubaker, the migrants are viewed as a transnational group with a special hybrid identity. Understanding Russian Germans as a transnational group means that the boundaries of their identity are situational and are formed within a dynamic socio-cultural context. In the case of the Russian Germans, such contexts are the cultural memory of the USSR, Russian historical experience, as well as their migration experience in Germany. Based on a series of narrative interviews, the biographical method (F. Schütze), the types of the images and the boundaries of mnemonic solidarity, the forms of their representation in the narratives of autobiographical memory were analyzed. The report will show the differences revealed in the autobiographical memory of the Russian Germans in the context of their media discourses. In this regard, biographical research methods were supplemented by the methodology of the critical discourse analysis. Based on the theoretical model of Siegfried Jäger, we analyzed the main strategies for constructing mnemonic solidarity in the media resources of the Russian Germans in Russia and Germany. The report will show the specifics of the influence of the media environment on the autobiographical memory of the Russian Germans in Russia and Germany. It is concluded that it is the media environment that is one of the most important transnational factors in the formation of the mnemonic solidarity of the Russian Germans in the current situation.


Sanda Üllen (Vienna)

Contested (in)visibility – memory and solidarity among Romani activists in Austria

Rom*nja in Austria are still being confronted with specific forms of discrimination and marginalization that are directed against them both –  the recognized Austrian Romani minority as well as Romani migrants. The marginalization of Rom*nja is especially visible when it comes to  remembrance on the Porajmos, the Holocaust on Rom*nja and Sinti*zze in  Austria where a central memorial still doesn’t exist. Faced with the  situation where the official memory narratives predominately operate with exclusionist practices a young Romani activist’s scene has formed  articulating a need for more visibility and recognition of Romani  victims during the World War II. Through transnational solidarity  networks and joint activities with e.g. Jewish activists they claim  central spaces of remembrance in order to position themselves within the  Austrian society and make their own history visible. Against this background the presentation discusses Romani memory activism and transnational solidarity networks of Romani activists, providing an ethnographic insight into the multi-layered and complex experiences of a particular group.