The Collegium welcomes back the book editors Deniss Hanovs and Igors Gubenko, who have both held the Kone Foundation Fellowship at HCAS in the past and cooperated on a HCAS symposium that grew into this publication. The introduction to the volume is written by the leading memory studies scholar Aleida Assmann, who also visited the Collegium as the keynote of the symposium in 2017.
The book, published by Zinātne Publishers, brings together essays focusing on minorities and counter-memories, and strategies of exclusion and inclusion in specific political contexts. The book searches for new theoretical innovations, seeks to test the limits of methodologies available, and looks for new mnemonic practices and media emerging in different social milieus.
All the essays deal with cases in which access to memory is obstructed in some way. An example of this is when a political system represses other voices and excludes differing interpretations of the past denouncing them improper. However, obstructing access to memory can also occur when, for example, the system of mass media inadvertently presents information in a black and white manner that hinders a more differentiated access to the past and forestalls reflection, dialogue and reconciliation.
In exploring such encounters and entanglements, this volume expands the range of those who have the power to shape social and political memories, while drawing attention to the action and relations between majorities and minorities, state actors, activists and seemingly unobtrusive participants such as Internet users.
The papers collected in this book were presented at the "Memory — Access Denied?" symposium that took place in Helsinki on November 22nd and 23rd, 2017. The symposium was organised by Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies (University of Helsinki), University of Tartu, Institute of Philosophy and Sociology (University of Latvia), Rīga Stradiņš University and Žanis Lipke Memorial in cooperation with Konrad Adenauer Foundation, Faculty of Arts (University of Helsinki) and University College London.
This volume is published with the support of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation.