Capital and Memory


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Historic images of jubilant people in view of “German unity” are often juxtaposed in Western media discourses with images of war in Yugoslavia during the process of its disintegration. Used to illustrate that nationalism can mean the fulfillment of longings for “us,” and death and ruin for “others,” this juxtaposition advances the notion of “good” and “bad” nationalism reserved for “good” and “bad” nation states respectively. In the course of this, the common denominator of these image-based memories is suppressed: after the dissolution of the Eastern Bloc, the expansion of neoliberalism – be it in neo-Germany or ex-Yugoslavia – was only possible as folk narratives appropriated by commemoration. In the course of this, identitarian gifts were supposed to make us forget economic robbery. Political theorist and organizer Gal Kirn shows in his “Black Box East” video talk that “the enemy” of emancipatory politics knows no borders, although it is continuously busy marking (identitarian) borders.

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