Dina Iordanova, University of St Andrews
A Walk On the Waterfront: Hushed Memories and Impossible Conversations
14 March 2023, 16.00
Tallinn University, Uus-Sadama 5, M-648
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A visit to the coastal city of Izmir early in 2023 brought up memories of the centennial related to the place. In Turkey, it was marked as a day of the city’s liberation, whilst, in Greece, it was commemorated mainly through references to ethnic cleansing and catastrophe. Even Wikipedia carries two differently slanted articles on the topic, both related to the same event but not interlinked online. Occasional cultural historians and filmmakers from either country have tried to complicate the narrative for a more comprehensive understanding. A meaningful dialogue is still to materialize, though. Elsewhere, the 1922 centennial remained largely unmentioned (as has been, generally, the case with the centennial of the end of the Ottoman Empire). Indeed, the silence over the unreconciled and awkward moments in history, like this one, is deafening. In this talk, l would like to present a case study of the hushed memories related to Smyrna/Izmir and connect it to more general matters of reconciling narratives, vicious circles, and historical memory.
Dina Iordanova is Professor Emeritus of Global Cinema at the University of St Andrews in Scotland. A native of Bulgaria, she has worked internationally for three decades now and has published mainly on Balkan and East European film history as well as on the cinema of the former Soviet Union, as well as East Asia. She is also a leading specialist on global film festivals and has served on many international festival juries, both for feature and documentary. For this talk, she builds on work related to Balkan memory studies published over the last two decades