Constructing the (Identity’s) Image of the Republic of Moldova: competing discourses, memories, and practices
Ludmila Cojocari – 2008
The object of study in this article are the public symbols, collective memory and identity practices associated with three ‘places of memory’ in the Republic of Moldova: the Spiritual Complex „Lumânarea Recunoştinţei” (“The Candle of Recognition”), Monastic Complex „Mănăstirea Căpriana” (“Căpriana Monastery”) and Military Glory Complex „Capul de Pod Şerpeni” (“Bridgehead Serpeni”). The research is circumscribed by the idea that during successive post-totalitarian administrations, the project of creating a “Moldovan nation” had built up its own ideological “liturgy” meant to impose upon public consciousness the idea of continuity, tradition and, finally, legitimacy of access to power. In this context, the study should (1) delineate strategies for instrumentalizing public symbols in political projects to promote “Moldovenism”, (2) distinguish its semantic platforms, and (3) analyze, regarding ‘places of memory’, the interaction of commemoration practices. Investigation of the field material and analysis of public discussions result in a conclusion that in post-Soviet Moldova, memory communities are in a process of negotiation without acceptance in integrum of the official discourse. Attempts by the state to instrumentalize places of memory at this stage favors an articulation of contexts, attitudes and debates of counter-memory (Zarubavel 1995), in consent with affirmed norms, values and social conventions.