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Intercultural Memories

Contesting Places, Spaces, and Stories

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Edited By Ahmet Atay, Yea-Wen Chen and Alberto González

Collective remembering is an important way that communities name and make sense of the past. Places and stories about the past influence how communities remember the past, how they try to preserve it, or in some cases how they try to erase it. The research in this book offers key insights into how places and memories intersect with intercultural conflicts, oppressions, and struggles by which communities make sense of, deal with, and reconcile the past. The authors in this book examine fascinating stories from important sites—such as international commemorations of Korean “Comfort Women,” a film representation of the Stonewall Riots, and remembrances of the post-communist state in Albania. By utilizing various critical and cultural studies and ethnographic and narrative-based methods, each chapter examines cultural memory in intercultural encounters, everyday experiences, and identity performances that evoke collective memories of colonial pasts, immigration processes, and memories of places and spaces that are shaped by power structures and clashing ideologies. This book is essential reading for understanding the links between space/place and cultural memory, memories of nationally, and places constituted by markers of ethnicity, race, and sexuality. These readings are especially useful in courses in intercultural communication, cultural studies, international studies, and peace and conflict studies.
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7. Photographs as Diasporic Memories: Turkish Cypriots, Home, and Memory

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AHMET ATAY

College of Wooster

Lately, I feel as though I am stuck in a nexus of the past and the present, constantly having a hard time moving forward. Sometimes, moving forward and leaving the past behind is not an option, and it can be rather painful. Often, the only things we have from our past are the memories of what we have left behind, gently reminding us who we were and where we have been. Every so often, we realize that we can only exist by standing next to our memories. At the end of the day, we only have memories and photographs of the people we loved, the places we visited and to which we belonged, the places we called home, and finally, the places we can never get back to.

We often remember our past fondly despite our dark or bleak moments and hurtful experiences, and it is possible that the past was not as spectacular as we make it out to be in the present. After all, we try to hang on to the happy times of our youth, our past, and who we were, which possibly explains why people in exile, immigrants, and the members of different diasporic communities often story their past and relive their memories in order to belong to, feel connected to, and make sense of their in-between experiences that have been shaped by their colonial past, imperialistic agendas, and the outcomes of globalization...

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