Working Memory

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On the second day of the BBISS we focused on a theoretical and a practical approach to memory. Within the practical approach, we referred memory to digital media. In this blog entry, we will follow the structure of that day, but also include our own thoughts and impressions.

The first part of the day was a lecture by the former head of the Lower Saxony Memorials Foundation, Dr. Habbo Knoch. The main point of the lecture was to show us how memory, in general, can be influenced by different factors. The lecture touched each of the members of our expert group in a different way, as we were all interested in different aspects about it.

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Here you can read our personal impressions:

Mor: “I was interesting in seeing the way exhibition structure changes because of the access of knowledge and database in virtual space. The knowledge stopped being linear and hierarchial and navigated according the user interests. It looks like now anyone can create his own memory story, and its interesting in research the impacts of this subject on collective memory”.

Irina: “I found the model of the developing process from the raw material to the exhibition very interesting. This process is very selective and now we have an impression of the different stages it includes. To me, as a historian, this is a very important information, because usually, when we attend an exhibition, we only get to see the final product. And I’m very interested in studying the process of creating an exhibition, the origins of it and how/who/why it is selected/selects it.”

Shulamit: “The lecture opened my mind to other aspects of preserving history at memorial sites, and rised interesting questions, in particular about the rules that should be applied to people who visit the memorial”.

Magdalena: “The lecture was a combination of many theoretical informations about memory which I can easily transfer it to future practical experiences. I understood how important space is in all aspects of the commemoration”.

Ann: “I found the performance aspect that Dr. Knoch talked about very fascinating. I have never thought about memory as a performative act, but with regards to memorials it totally makes sense and it is something we have to reflect upon.”


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In the afternoon, two members of the Kooperative Berlin-organization presented different online projects dealing with the educational aspects of memory/commemoration, using online tools and platforms. It was a good addition to the lecture as the lecture focused on theoretical aspects of memory, while the workshop concentrated on the practical implementation of this knowledge. As a part of the workshop, we were given the task to suggest and develop our own ideas of commemorating the seventieth anniversary of the liberation of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, using online tools. This was a good opportunity for all of us to understand the challenges the memorial staff copes with, trying to preserve history in the digital age.

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