The forgetting institution: Memory and oblivion in the National History Museum in contemporary Albania
Sammanfattning: National museums are institutions that exhibit historical narratives politically influenced by individuals,groups or governments. These actions are implemented inside the exhibition space of museums through thecreation of specific projects of memory and oblivion that seek to convert historic memory in an ideologicaltool. In this dissertation, it is discussed the different aspects involved in the creation of these projects to subsequentlymake use of them in specific case studies inside a national museum. For this purpose, it was collectedvisual material from documentaries, books and photographs of five areas of the permanent exhibition of theNational History Museum of Tirana in Albania showing the level of transformation of its spaces, since itsconstruction in 1981 during the Communist regime until the subsequent transitional period to a Capitalistsociety. These cases were analysed to find the implications of the ideological influence of political regimes inthe museum exhibitions. As a result of this analyses it was possible to discover heterogeneous political influencesin the construction of the Albanian historic memory particularly influenced by different ideologies.Consequently, the case studies showed some ways in which the museum has dealt with constructed representationsof history ranking from the glorification of past to the contesting of the Communist period inAlbania. It was demonstrated through the findings and the subsequent discussion that some of the politicalprojects of memory and oblivion implemented by the Communist regime in 1981 have been kept intact ortransformed, thus, evidencing a heterogeneous response of the museum to the historical discourse that theformer Communist regime implemented in Albania.
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