Pictures, Parables, Paradoxes
Edited By András Benedek and Kristóf Nyíri
The Art of Memory Politics: Visual Learning – Visual Resisting
The Art of Memory Politics:
Visual Learning – Visual Resisting
The relations between identity, politics and culture have inspired a great deal of research across a range of academic disciplines and with the use of different methodological approaches. The aim of this short paper, however, is not to refer to a variety of discourses but to present the specificity of those relations with respect to the politics of memory. In my study, I do not confine the notion of culture to its narrow linguistic sense. That methodological approach, represented by the research into identity politics conducted by Anthony Smith, Geert Hofstede and others, seems unsatisfactory and incomplete. Hofstede’s writings tend to treat identity as being founded on three elements: religion, a dominant national language and common symbolic content.1 Although Hofstede claims that it would be difficult to speak of homogeneous national identity today, it is rather doubtful whether such homogeneity has ever existed. The second problem with Hofstede’s approach is its interpretation of culture, which is reduced to language and symbolic content. In Hofstede’s opinion, visual artifacts and products of material culture seem to be irrelevant to the identity of an individual. This issue is explored more carefully in the writings of Anthony Smith, where the cultural origins of nations are not limited to language, mythologies and beliefs but are the consequence of cultural texts and visual artifacts. According to Smith, artifacts which constitute the remnants of performed rituals constitute...
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