“Political Struggles for Memory”

The piece, Political Struggles for Memory, by Jelin, had a really interesting take on how the history of some countries are formed and how they can be skewed depending on the country and who is in power, the people in power Jelin refers to as “agents of the state.” I really thought it was interesting how Jelin mentioned the fact that in order to establish a hero, you need to silence the actions of others. It make you think about how there are two sides to every story. However, some sides of the story may be suppressed or hidden as “private memories” because they fear the repercussions they would face if they were to speak out against the memories that have been established. I think the most interesting thing about “private memories” is how the author describes them as “silenced in the public world but were kept and transmitted in the private sphere”(29). We tend to think that we know everything about everything but that is not always the case. It is crazy to think that there could be sides to the most popular events in history that could completely alter how we look at that event, but we don’t know because the memories have been suppressed. The details of a specific event in history have been altered from the raw, true account, which makes me wonder how events that are happening now, will be altered when they are taught to my children. Jelin also mentions how victims of specific events have a strong role in shaping and developing a framework for memories. This is something that I think is very accurate because I tend to trust what the victims, survivors, or those who experienced an event first hand, say more than what the media will say. I think that today however, the media has a huge role in shaping memories and how people view specific events. It is no longer on the historians in my opinion. The 2016 election is a person example of how the media skewed and altered the truth behind a lot of what is going on and this can be proven by comparing the reports by Fox News with that of CNN with those of BBC.


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