Comunicação e Sociedade
[ISSN 2183-3575 (online) / ISSN 1645-2089 (print)] is a publication of the Communication and Society Research Centre of the Institute of Social Sciences of the University of Minho, edited by Moisés de Lemos Martins and funded by the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT). Published since 1999, this journal has a rigorous scientific arbitration system and is published twice a year. It is indexed in different platforms and databases of scientific journals, both nationally and internationally.

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Historical Reparations: Destabilising Constructions From the Colonial Past

Vítor de Sousa, Sheila Khan & Pedro Schacht Pereira

Vol. 41 | 2022 | CECS


The Duty of Memory, the title that Primo Levi (2011) gave to one of his books, embodies the whole logic that underlies cultural restitution in a process that is underway, aimed at promoting the repair of the damage caused by colonialism. Although reparation will never be completely achieved, the attitude underlying it may reduce resentment in a sign based on diversity and not, as has almost always been the case, on a unilateral logic stemming from a western gaze. Through the use of memory, Levi focused on the holocaust — from which he coined the expression “duty of memory” — he gave his testimony as a Jew who was a prisoner of the Nazis so that nothing similar would ever happen again. An urgent duty of memory is to repair atrocities committed in colonial times through the use of violence by those who colonised. Therefore, the “duty of memory” represents the ethical responsibility never to forget.