Television and the transnational memory of undemocratic pasts: a comparison between Spain and the Czech Republic
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The starting point for the present work is the conviction that we can study the memory of undemocratic pasts from both a transnational and comparative perspective. Television series offer viewers an account of the passage of official history, through the prism of both the fictional characters and viewers’ personal (emotional) relationships. In light of this, some elements are going to be investigated common to two television products, the first set during the Francoism (Cuéntame cómo pasó) and the second during Socialism (Vyprávěj), whose patent purpose is to depict how everyday life was under these repressive regimes. From a transnational point of view, the two TV series demonstrate the presence of at least one common narrative mode of undemocratic pasts, which goes beyond specific national features and characteristics. The specific elements mentioned in this work (the narrator as re-affirmation of the guide-values, the family as a synecdoche for the community that remembers, the television as the ‘memory medium’, and the emotional recognition between audience and character as the mediation space with a ‘problematic’ past) can be interpreted as a possible first mapping of the different narrative modes that tend to be connected with the representation of undemocratic pasts in Europe.
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