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Agonistic MourningPolitical Dissidence and the Women in Black$
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Athena Athanasiou

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474420143

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474420143.001.0001

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Spectral Spaces of Counter-Memory

Spectral Spaces of Counter-Memory

(p.153) 3 Spectral Spaces of Counter-Memory
Agonistic Mourning

Athena Athanasiou

Edinburgh University Press

How does the political action of reclaiming a public space for remembering others and otherwise work to transfigure the polis and the ways in which it comes to organize its remembrance? The counter-memory of Women in Black is enacted through deheroicized standing at Belgrade’s Republic Square, under the national hero’s sleepless gaze. This chapter engages with the ways in which theWomen in Black political actors carve an expansive cartography of critical memory in the polis through performative idioms of body-archive that decenter national memory as a haunted space of political death. This account bears on the modes of embodiment, knowledge, as well as affective intensity that is rendered possible by the work of haunting the polis’s “organized remembrance”, in Hannah Arendt’s terms. Focusing on the agonistic eventness of appearing (out of place), the chapter offers a reflection on what kind of polis would emerge from performing the spectral potentiality of disconcerted memory: an occurrence of memory that persistently complicates the ways in which people “come together”.

Keywords:   appearing, body-archive, counter-memory, critical memory, embodiment, haunting, political death, public space, spectrality

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