By analyzing the compilation of articles recorded in the Istrian village of Rakitovec, the articles aims to demonstrate how oral history helps us understand the influence of mythology on the individual and society. Moreover, it sheds light on possibilities and difficulties brought about by fostering different, “socially oppositional” memories, which give rise to a more democratic version of the past. The analysis of memories therefore has to take into consideration the fact that people tend to modify or repress memories of painful experiences that are not in accordance with their current identity or cannot be “processed”. If not harmonized with social norms and collective views of the past, memories may be perilous and painful. Our unconscious fear of social exclusion compels us to form memories that are in accordance with social expectations. The importance of oral history lies in the fact that it helps us understand ideological mechanisms and the intertwinement of historical, mythological and ideological visions of society by analyzing memories. Within such a context, the article analyses Istrian “common people’s” memories of changing political circumstances in the post-war period, their manners of adaptation to radical social and political changes they witnessed in that period, as well as their strategies for harmonizing their personal history with their lives today and the dominant social ideology.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Vida Rožac Darovec is a researcher at the Institute for Historical Studies of the Science and Research Centre Koper. She has participated in several research projects of contemporary history, initially dealing with oral history, and more recently focusing on collective memory along the Slovenian border. She is a member of the editorial board of the scientific journals Acta Histriae and Annales for Istrian and Mediterranean Studies, serving also as chief of the University Publishing house Annales during the years 2008–2012. She has published articles in Acta Histriae and contributed a chapter to Borut Klabjan (ed.), Borderlands of Memory: Adriatic and Central European Perspectives (Peter Lang, 2019).