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Museums and Transitional Justice: Assessing the Impact of a Memorial Museum on Young People in Post-Communist Romania

1
Bournemouth University Business School, Bournemouth University, Poole BH12 5BB, UK
2
Department of Geography, West University of Timisoara, 321322 Timisoara, Romania
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Gregor Wolbring
Received: 1 April 2021 / Revised: 29 April 2021 / Accepted: 6 May 2021 / Published: 12 May 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Communism and Post-memory among Young People in East-Central Europe)
Memorial museums are frequently established within transitional justice projects intended to reckon with recent political violence. They play an important role in enabling young people to understand and remember a period of human rights abuses of which they have no direct experience. This paper examines the impact of a memorial museum in Romania which interprets the human rights abuses of the communist period (1947–1989). It uses focus groups with 61 young adults and compares the responses of visitors and non-visitors to assess the impact of the museum on views about the communist past, as well as the role of the museum within post-communist transitional justice. The museum had a limited impact on changing overall perceptions of the communist era but visiting did stimulate reflection on the differences between past and present, and the importance of long-term remembrance; however, these young people were largely skeptical about the museum’s role within broader processes of transitional justice. The paper concludes that it is important to recognize the limits of what memorial museums can achieve, since young people form a range of intergenerational memories about the recent past which a museum is not always able to change. View Full-Text
Keywords: memorial museum; transitional justice; young people; visitors/non-visitors; communism; Romania; intergenerational memory memorial museum; transitional justice; young people; visitors/non-visitors; communism; Romania; intergenerational memory
MDPI and ACS Style

Light, D.; Creţan, R.; Dunca, A.-M. Museums and Transitional Justice: Assessing the Impact of a Memorial Museum on Young People in Post-Communist Romania. Societies 2021, 11, 43. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soc11020043

AMA Style

Light D, Creţan R, Dunca A-M. Museums and Transitional Justice: Assessing the Impact of a Memorial Museum on Young People in Post-Communist Romania. Societies. 2021; 11(2):43. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soc11020043

Chicago/Turabian Style

Light, Duncan, Remus Creţan, and Andreea-Mihaela Dunca. 2021. "Museums and Transitional Justice: Assessing the Impact of a Memorial Museum on Young People in Post-Communist Romania" Societies 11, no. 2: 43. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/soc11020043

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