Book | Weaving the past. What are memory policies for?

In collaboration with Barlin Libros, the EUROM presents the Spanish translation of the book À quoi servent les politiques de mémoire ? (Presses de la Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques, 2017) authored by Sarah Gensburger and Sandrine Lefranc. This significant contribution underscores the profound impact and accessibility of the work, fostering a broader understanding of the crucial question it poses regarding our ability to glean valuable lessons from history. The book is also available in English, under the title “Beyond Memory: Can we really learn from the past?” (Palgrave McMillan, 2020).

In recent decades, our societies have been marked by an unprecedented obsession with collective memory. The imperative to remember traumatic pasts has insidiously become a moral obligation, ostensibly guiding us toward preventing future conflicts and ruptures. The mantra “those who forget their history are condemned to repeat it” encapsulates this idea, now ingrained in the common consciousness of our time. In ‘Weaving the Past,’ political scientists Sandrine Lefranc and Sarah Gensburger fundamentally challenge this widespread conception.

The constant resurfacing of the past in our present has given rise to a ‘memory industry,’ whose efforts, the authors argue, are inefficiently directed. According to them, the proliferation of these acts of remembrance does not necessarily contribute to illuminating more peaceful or tolerant societies.

Their analysis departs from the preconceived notion that remembering is imperative to ‘never again’ repeat past mistakes. Instead, it focuses on how individuals, as per social sciences, operate within their frames of reference. How can memory policies truly be effective?

This insightful study dismantles a common assumption as a starting point and then establishes a new vantage point from which to reconsider how we should collectively remember—or not—in order to construct more just societies.

Tejer el pasado. ¿Para qué sirven las políticas de memoria?

Author: Gensburger, Sarah / Lefranc, Sandrine
Translator: Haller, Alberto

Barlin Books Editorial
Edition (02/14/2024)
Pages 160
Spanish Language
ISBN 9788412803204
ISBN-10 8412803205

In collaboration with the European Observatory on Memories of the University of Barcelona’s Solidarity Foundation. Co- funded by the programme Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values of the European Commission.

Related press

Press Kit | Weaving the past. What are memory policies for? (Barlin Books, 2024)


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