chapter  9
20 Pages

The future of memory – and forgetting – in Europe

Memory is never only about the past. As examples throughout this book have shown, what is remembered, how and by whom, is deeply entangled with both the present and the future. Sometimes this is instrumental – pasts are crafted to serve present interests and try to determine futures – but more often it is embedded in uncalculated and untidy, embodied as well as verbally articulated, ongoing practice. What is remembered is not always what people might wish to recall; forgetting can be difficult, not least when there are material prompts to recollection or others who want to ensure that certain pasts are kept in mind. Equally, some pasts can slip out of memory, unspoken and undocumented, though perhaps still retained in fragments and traces, available for later past presencing.