On the Politics of Memory: Remembering the Past in Contemporary Lithuanian Theatre

Martynas Petrikas (Vytautas Magnus University)

In his famous lecture given at Sorbonne University, Ernest Renan argued that forgetting is crucial for formation of a nation. This paper will analyse the opposite: an ability to remember will appear as a catalyst for collective national memory whereas the theatre will emerge as a tool for retrieval of historical periods into realm of collective memory. Representation of the First Independence (1918–1940) in contemporary Lithuanian theatre in this paper will be analysed dwelling on the notion of the politics of memory. Three of the possible forms of remembering will form a case in point: mythologizing, popularising and critical modes of memory on the stage of Lithuanian theatre will be presented as an example of interweaving of culture with ideology symptomatic for postcolonial society.

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