The memory of empire remains highly – and increasingly openly – contested across postimperial Europe. It also provides insight into a number of key concepts in memory studies, including melancholia, nostalgia, silence, amnesia, and aphasia. This chapter examines the institutionalization of the memory of empire, the ways in which memory activists have engaged with it, and the relative effectiveness of these strategies to unsettle the dominant memory of empire and produce counter-memories. Drawing from representations of the British Empire during the World War I centenary (2014–2019), the chapter finds that memory activists appealed to three strategies: they created more space for the memory of colonial subjects without challenging the dominant memory of imperialism; they invoked the present by emphasizing the importance of imperial history for the contemporary political project of integration; and they revived difficult memories of violence and ambivalence. Of the three, the final strategy holds the greatest potential to disrupt the dominant memory of empire at large.
|Title of host publication||The Routledge Handbook of Memory Activism|
|Editors||Yifat Gutman, Jenny Wüstenberg|
|Place of Publication||Abingdon|
|Number of pages||5|
|ISBN (Print)||9780367650391, 9780367650414|
|Publication status||Published - 15 Feb 2023|