Mass demonstrations make headlines, but then seem to disappear. How are these demonstrations remembered when they are no longer news? That is the central question in the ERC project recently awarded to Prof. Ann Rigney. The ERC Advanced Grant (€2.5 million) is a five-year grant allocated to researchers whose ground-breaking work opens up new directions in their field.
The project Remembering Activism: The Cultural Memory of Protest in Europe (ReAct) hypothesizes that protest has an afterlife in cultural memory in the form of the stories told about them. Knowledge of this cultural memory is needed for a full understanding of civil resistance.
Media and the arts
ReAct will demonstrate the role of the media and the arts in turning protest into stories, and show how the memory of earlier activists influenced later generations. The focus will be on protest movements in Europe, from the Paris Commune to the recent Occupy movements, and from print to social media.
Role of memory in activism
The result will be a new understanding of the role of memory in activism and of the stories that sustain citizenship in today’s world. This interdisciplinary project brings together comparative literature, cultural memory studies, and the study of social movements.