This Saturday I respond to the most relevant local invitation for my academic work so far, and despite a little bit of pomp, I’m glad for it, especially at this moment in time, with the different kinds of extremism / danger solidifying around the place. It makes sense that these days there would be increased interest in Cypriot commemoration / politics of memory. This inevitably happens around regime shifts.
My title is “Monumental microhistories: Paradoxes in Cypriot commemorative art and their extensions” and I use images and small jokes to make the argument that commemorative practices are less accurately seen as signs of resolution of conflict, nor as contributing to the resolution of conflict, but as products of conflict that can be legible: they can reveal things about the power shifts taking place.
I’ll put here the abstract I sent to Helene, though I’m thinking that instead of focusing on this loop about the inherence of conflict, I ought get in gear about responding to how colleagues have recently positioned themselves on the subject in a previous iteration of the Iconoclastic Controversies Project. So it isn’t final:
Monumental microhistories: Paradoxes in Cypriot commemorative art and their extensions.
Coming out of a larger study of Cypriot memorial politics and the Cypriot art and peace economy, this presentation isolates a series of anecdotal paradoxes in the history of Cypriot commemoration. It handles monuments not only as powerful political media, but also in terms of their circularity as products of, and at the same time as generators of social consensus: a loop that is both in response to conflict, and inherently conflicted.
[a post I will be editing heavily in the next few days, to be sure]