30 years after the fall of the Berlin wall…

EXPERIENCES AND USES OF THE PAST IN ONLINE COMMUNITIES: (N)OSTALGIAS OF THE FORMER GERMAN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC

Principle researcher. Financed by the FRQSC, Fonds de Recherche Société et culture (2018-2021).

“Ostalgia” refers to the nostalgia of and for the East: a bittersweet longing for the former German Democratic Republic – its politics, cultural products and commodities. The main purpose of this project is to identify and understand the experiences and uses of the past in online communities that claim themselves as being “ostalgic”. Four other objectives are central to this research: identify the types of discourse (testimonies, memories or historiographical references) and the types of content that circulate in these communities (photos, audio, videos, text), explore the negotiations between different types of memory (personal, cultural and institutional), identify the nostalgias that come into play: one advocating for the reliving and restoring of the GDR and/or a personal nostalgia oriented towards youth or the past, observe if the official commemorations of the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall (November 9, 2019) will become a subject of sharing or political discussion in the analyzed online communities.

In collaboration with:

  • Maria Silina (associate professor)
  • Diandra Chatelard (bachelor student)