Introduction. The Anarchive of Memories: Restor(y)ing Cold-War Childhoods

Zsuzsa Millei, Iveta Silova, Nelli Piattoeva, Mnemo ZIN

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

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How can we curate a collection of childhood memories to highlight multiple and multilayered stories beyond the fixed thematic organisation of a traditional archive? How can we archive memories in ways that offer audiences an opportunity to make their own interpretations and create new connections across memory stories, while inviting them to share memories in return? How can an archive be reflexive of its own creation, growth, and transformation, continuously arranging and rearranging, adding and affirming, disrupting and challenging the memories kept there? These questions guided the creation of this book, challenging not only ways of archiving ‘data’ but also the idea of memory as witness to history and complicating interpretations of childhoods lived during the Cold War. This chapter introduces readers to the anarchive, an evolving assemblage of childhood memories, artworks, scholarly articles, pedagogical frameworks, and methodological interventions that came out of our project ‘Reconnect/Recollect: Crossing the Divides through Memories of Cold War Childhoods’. It explains connections between memory work, collective biography, childhood studies, and the Cold War, and it offers some suggestions for engaging with the anarchive, including multiple thematic, artistic, and affective threads that we have found interesting, insightful, or surprising. This chapter is an invitation to enter and explore the memory anarchive.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication(An)Archive
Subtitle of host publicationChildhood, Memory, and the Cold War
EditorsMnemo ZIN
PublisherOpen Book Publishers
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-80511-187-0
ISBN (Print)978-1-80511-185-6
Publication statusPublished - 2024
Publication typeA3 Book chapter


  • Cold War
  • childhood memory
  • state socialism
  • collective biography
  • oral history

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1


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