The persistence of the past: memory, generational cohorts and the 'Iron Curtain'

2014-08-19T10:05:39Z (GMT) by Sabina Mihelj
Despite considerable evidence of the link between generational cohorts and mnemonic persistence in other social and historical contexts, existing research on memory in former state socialist countries tends to focus primarily on evidence of mnemonic change. In contrast, this article seeks to develop a more nuanced understanding of post-state-socialist memories, one capable of accounting for both mnemonic change and persistence. Methodologically, the article combines the analysis of personal memories across several generations with a reconstruction of the changing contours of everyday life in different historical periods, based on archival and secondary sources. To demonstrate the usefulness of such an approach, the article examines the memories of life at the Yugoslav border with Italy, as recounted by the inhabitants of the Slovenian border town of Nova Gorica in 2008.