Exhibiting post-communism in contemporary (east) German history museums

Dr Fiona Smith
University of Dundee

Examining the cultural practices of two museums of contemporary history in the eastern Laender of Germany, the paper explores some of the diverse visual and material cultural practices which constitute sites of contemporary engagement with the communist history of eastern Germany, the GDR state, and the period of restructuring since 1989/90. The paper explores how the museums exhibit the socialist period and, through public debates and diverse uses of these museum spaces, offer cultural spaces through which discourses and practices of post-communism can be examined. Their roles as spaces of remembering and forgetting in relation to both national and individual/ collective experiences of socialism and post-socialism are examined to analyse the museums as entangled spaces in the complex memory politics of post-unification/post-socialist Germany.

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