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by Archaeology Newsroom

“This Day Every Year…”: An Exhibition on Historical Memory

Exhibitions are systems of representations. They use the field of the visible in order to give a form to what is invisible. They employ objects, texts and sound, as well as every other semiotic method, in order to create entities ana ensembles with a meaningful context. Via metonymy and metaphor exhibitions construct a “realm of significance”, which cannot itself be seen One of the major realms of significance is the past, and more specifically the national past, which was first visualized in museum exhibitions during the last couple of centuries. This article refers to the exhibition “This Day Every Year… National Anniversaries and National Memory”, organized by the Institution of Major Hellenism in its new premises, the cultural center Hellenic World, on 254 Peiraios Street, in Tavros, Atlica. The exhibition refers to the national past and, by reason of the Greek anniversaries of October 28th and March 25th, attempts to approach the notion of the anniversary through the present and the daily routine, on the one hand; and on the other, to bring up the issues of the science of History, the role of the historian and that of the museologist. The exhibition does not present the historic facts in themselves, but the way in which each historical period has conceived and interpreted them. Given that it was originally purposed for school groups, the exhibition seeks a new “pedagogic” method for presenting history, different from the one employed in school text¬books. Entities, such as the Hero, Celebration, Mass Media. Memory, comment on the mechanisms of remembrance, the procedure of production of social memory, the notion of stereotype- the stereotype of hero, for example, in different eras- the meaning of symbols and ceremonies in anniversaries. The article comprises two parts: the first examines the organizational framework, the choice of subject and the grounding of the exhibition, while the second analyses the method of visualizing its theoretical framework.