Researcher Laura Ardava from University of Latvia participates in the ECREA conference in Prague
Laura Ardava, Dr. sc. comm.
On November 9 to 13 this year project’s “LIVINGMEMORIES” researcher Laura Ardava from University of Latvia, Faculty of Social Sciences participated and gave a presentation at the 6th European Communication Conference “Mediated (Dis)Continuities: Contesting Pasts, Presents and Futures” in Prague, Czech Republic. Conference was organized by European Communication Research and Education Association (ECREA).
Within her presentation “Social Memory and Commemoration of the Third Latvian National Awakening in Media (1988-2016)” Laura Ardava explained the controversial role of the National awakening’s social memory and identity, the active role of media in sustaining the social memory conflict and orientation towards major anniversaries. She also highlighted layering of current social, political, and economic situation on the perception of the past, the narrative of ‘paradise lost’ in the media of Latvia and minor emphasis on rational and institutional benefits of the independence period.
It is worth mentioning that this was the first ECREA conference held in the post-Soviet state. During the conference the importance of further Soviet and post-Soviet media research was emphasized due to the reason that communication process in Europe is deeply influenced by this historical experience. Well-known media and communication theoreticians Barbie Zelizer and Nick Couldry also participated in this conference.
Project “LIVINGMEMORIES” is an interdisciplinary social science and humanities project, which focuses on problematic social memory, as well as on the imprints of conflicts and protest movements on memory and identity. Within the project research groups from University of Helsinki, which is the leading partner, Perm National Polytechnic University, University of Tartu, Goethe University of Frankfurt am Main, Koç University in Istanbul and University of Latvia are working together. The co-ordinator of the project is Dr. phil. Kirsti Salmi-Niklander from University of Helsinki. This is the first social science and humanities project that is implemented in the program ERA.NET RUS PLUS (EU-FP7). This is the European Union’s 7th Framework Program, which focuses on the promotion of European Union member state scientific cooperation with Russian scientists.