Curatorial dissonance and conflictual aesthetics: Holocaust memory and public humanities in Greek historiography

Article


Christou, A. 2024. Curatorial dissonance and conflictual aesthetics: Holocaust memory and public humanities in Greek historiography. Histories . 4 (2), pp. 204-219. https://doi.org/10.3390/histories4020010
TypeArticle
TitleCuratorial dissonance and conflictual aesthetics: Holocaust memory and public humanities in Greek historiography
AuthorsChristou, A.
Abstract

Despite the increasingly diverse societal landscape in Greece for more than three decades within a context of migration, understandings of its fragile histories are still limited in shaping a sense of belonging that is open to ‘otherness’. While Greek communities have utilised history as a pathway to maintain identity, other parallel histories and understandings do not resonate with ‘Greekness’ for most, such as the case of Greek Jewry. Critical historical perspectives can benefit from tracing ‘re-membering’ as a feminist practice in the reassessment of societal values of inclusivity. Histories of violence and injustice can also include elements of ‘difficult histories’ and must be embraced to seek acknowledgement of these in promoting social change and cultural analysis for public humanities informing curation and curricula. Between eduscapes, art heritage spaces, an entry into contested and conflictual histories can expand a sense of belonging and the way we imagine our own connected histories with communities, place and nation. Greek Jews do not constitute a strong part of historical memory for Greeks in their past and present; in contrast to what is perceived as ‘official’ history, theirs is quite marginal. As a result, contemporary Greeks, from everyday life to academia, do not have a holistic understanding in relation to the identities of Jews in Greece, their culture or the Holocaust. Given the emergence of a new wave of artistic activism in recent years in response to the ever-increasing dominance of authoritarian neoliberalism, along with activist practices in the art field as undercurrents of resistance, in this intervention I bring together bodies of works to create a dialogic reflection with historical, artistic and feminist sources. In turn, the discussion then explores the spatiotemporal contestations of the historical geographies of Holocaust monuments in Greece. While interrogating historical amnesia, I endeavour to provide a space to engage with ‘difficult histories’ in their aesthetic context as a heritage of healing and social justice.

Sustainable Development Goals16 Peace, justice and strong institutions
Middlesex University ThemeCreativity, Culture & Enterprise
PublisherMDPI
JournalHistories
ISSN
Electronic2409-9252
Publication dates
Online26 Mar 2024
PrintJun 2024
Publication process dates
Submitted27 Dec 2023
Accepted18 Mar 2024
Deposited19 Apr 2024
Output statusPublished
Publisher's version
License
File Access Level
Open
Copyright Statement

© 2024 by the author. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.3390/histories4020010
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