Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Reimagining everyday life in the GDR : post-ostalgia in contemporary German films and museums
Author: Kreibich, Stefanie
ISNI:       0000 0004 7659 6891
Awarding Body: Bangor University
Current Institution: Bangor University
Date of Award: 2019
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
In the last decade, everyday life in the GDR has undergone a mnemonic reappraisal following the Fortschreibung der Gedenkstättenkonzeption des Bundes in 2008. No longer a source of unreflective nostalgia for reactionaries, it is now being represented as a more nuanced entity that reflects the complexities of socialist society. The black and white narratives that shaped cultural memory of the GDR during the first fifteen years after the Wende have largely been replaced by more complicated tones of grey. Films and museums depicting the quotidian in East Germany have advanced this transformation of the everyday, as they instigate vital public discourses on how to remember the GDR. By focussing on objects and narratives as transmitters of memory, this thesis brings together museums and films in order to investigate the process of cultural memory formation. This comparative approach, which brings together seven museum and eight film case studies from the last decade, thus demonstrates wider trends in the German memory landscape pertaining to the GDR. Although both nostalgic and hegemonic accounts persist, this thesis finds that memory of East Germany is undergoing a process of democratisation, pluralisation and 'normalisation', which I call post-ostalgia. This is particularly illustrated by a rise in biographical and regionalised remembering in films and museums, in which counter-mnemonic readings of East Germany come to the fore. More pluralistic and balanced representations of the quotidian in the GDR are also emerging through a renegotiation of memory icons and narratives. By contesting the idea of a distinct East German identity and challenging Cold War-rooted stereotypes about former GDR citizens, visual culture is dismantling the notion of the GDR as the 'other' Germany. Instead, as this thesis demonstrates, East Germany is in the process of being normalised in cultural memory by approximation to Western societal norms.
Supervisor: Saunders, Anna Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Memory ; East Germany ; Films ; Museums