Europe, the world and the Czechs: place, time and belonging in contemporary accounts of the Velvet Revolution
Susanna Trnka (University of Auckland)
How is a political revolution remembered - or not - nearly two decades later? Based on interviews and participant observation undertaken 17 years after the Velvet Revolution, this paper focuses on how Czechs retrospectively portray the political events of 1989, with particular attention paid to the construction of time and the narrative emplacement of the events of 1989 on local, national, European, and world "stages." Specific issues addressed include the significance ascribed in oral accounts to radically transformed experiences of both transnational and local spaces (including the spaces of the body and of domestic and public realms); what these accounts reveal about Czechs' perspectives on individual and national pasts and futures; and how such views might be differently held across generational groups.
Recasting pasts and futures: imagination and belonging across generations in Europe