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Erinnerung aus zweiter Hand

Die born-free Generation in Südafrika und ihre Interpretation der Apartheid und des demokratischen Übergangs

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Julia Sonnleitner

Nach den ersten demokratischen Wahlen in Südafrika 1994 ist eine Generation herangewachsen, welche die Apartheid nicht mehr miterlebt hat. Sie ist in einem demokratischen Staat aufgewachsen, in dem die Apartheid dennoch in vielen Bereichen nachwirkt. Basierend auf ethnografischer Forschung legt die Autorin dar, wie VertreterInnen der born-free Generation die Vergangenheit ihres Landes interpretieren. Durch zwei neue Ansätze leistet die Untersuchung einen innovativen Beitrag zur Erinnerungsforschung: erstens durch den rezeptions-zentrierten Zugang, der soziale Positionierungen der befragten Jugendlichen in den Mittelpunkt stellt. Zweitens durch das Konzept des Chronotopos, mit dem die Relevanz von Zeit, Raum und Subjekt in der Analyse von Vergangenheitsdarstellungen berücksichtigt wird.

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10. Conclusio

10. Conclusio

Extract

Abstract: In the conclusions, some popular assumptions about the historical knowledge of the born-free generation, the interpretation of the apartheid past according to race, and collective memory as “culture” are contested. A widespread prejudice of the born-free generation is that they are indifferent about the apartheid past. In poplar discourse, this is both interpreted as a deficit that needs to be brought under control by educational measures or as a chance for this generation to overcome the racial divide of apartheid. In both cases, young people are perceived as empty boxes that need to be filled with the right knowledge about the past. In contrast, my findings have shown that the past occupies a meaningful and prominent place in the way the young people interviewed narrate their life stories and their place and agency in the present age. Their positioning towards the time of apartheid shows that they actively reflect on transmitted memory and relate to discourses of the past by alignment, distancing, or ambivalence which also reveals the ideological dimension of transmitted memory. Applying the concept of the chronotope provided a nuanced means of analysis for the spatio-temporal dimension in the accounts. It is an apt model for interpreting the radius of agency of the characters populating a chronotopic constellation and therefore provides insights into the way speakers imagine the past and the conditions of life under a totalitarian regime. Most importantly, these chronotopic scenarios of the past as abstract and concrete challenge the assumption that apartheid is remembered...

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