The politics of memory and commemoration: centennial anniversary in the South Caucasus
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This study attempts to explore the alteration of historical narratives on centennial anniversary according to existent political situations in the South Caucasus. Drawing on the literature developed by several scholars of the politics of memory and commemoration, the thesis argues that coupled with national memory and cultural memory, political memory lead historical narratives to be impacted by states’ actions. What is more, national/collective memory, national/collective identity and political interest are interdependent, whereas foreign policy derives from the political interest. All things considered, the theoretical background brings to the conclusion of the possibility of narratives to be shaped by political situations. The thesis aims to dig into narratives provided and make a comparison with historical narratives to find out altered (highlighted or concealed) narratives. The research uses narrative analysis as a technique of qualitative method. Primarily based on chosen state-run media materials, as well as other primary sources of three countries of the region, narratives are being studied here for the first time. Some of the contributors here are celebratory speeches of countries’ officials and conducted elite-interviews of local experts from Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. The results show that all three countries shift their historical narratives owing to the political situation existent.