4th Jul 2019 9:30am-5:30pm

M2, Grand Parade

Keynote address from David Berliner, Free University of Brussels

This conference explores the role of nostalgia in shaping our relationship to space/place and vice versa. It aims to bring together two lines of investigation. On the one hand, what are the complex, non-linear temporalities at stake in the use and abuse of memory and nostalgia to shape present and future spatial politics and realities? As Svetlana Boym pointed out, nostalgia is intrinsically prospective and ‘the fantasies of the past determined by the needs of the present have a direct impact on the realities of the future…The nostalgic feels stifled within the conventional confines of time and space.’ (2011). On the other hand, the physical and emotional experiences of space and place, as well as its narrativization, shape the ways in which memory and nostalgia are framed and phrased. Following Reavey’s suggestion that ‘the experience of memory pushes beyond narrative alone and emerges from specific scenes or settings, as much as time periods or stories’ (2017: 1), we would like to investigate the many more than representational ways in which memory and nostalgia play a role in the politics of place.


Artwork by Petra Kostevc