Memory as fluid process: James friedman's "12 nazi concentration camps" and gunter demnig's stolpersteine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Living memorials encourage reflection about the space of traumatic events, about the remains held (or forgotten, obfuscated), and they also encourage reflection about the return of traumatic events. How are the patterns of antisemitism, racism, and xenophobia returning now? How, if at all, do reminders of the fascist past change the approach to the present? This essay reads two living memorials, James Friedman’s photographic series “12 Nazi Concentration Camps” and Gunter Demnig’s Stolpersteine, as lenses through which to analyze how we interact with spaces of trauma and how the aesthetics of these photographs or stones create vibrant memorial spaces. Examining the affective nature of interacting with traumatic landscapes, this essay argues that each space calls up distinct aspects of the Nazi genocide, and each memory tourist finds a new meaning in the process of being in these spaces. The very process of interacting with traumatic landscapes alters the living memory or postmemory generated through the interchange between people and powerful things.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-71
Number of pages31
JournalShofar
Volume37
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

Keywords

  • Gunter Demnig
  • Holocaust art
  • James Friedman
  • Memory studies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Religious studies

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