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Authors: Crescimbene, M.* 
La Longa, F.* 
Lanza, T.* 
Editors: Bucchi, Massimiano 
Title: 150 years of earthquakes in Italy between memory and oblivion: which communication strategies?
Publisher: Observa Science in Society
Issue Date: 2012
ISBN: 978-88-904514-9-2
Keywords: memory and oblivion of earthquakes, risk communication strategies
Subject Classification05. General::05.03. Educational, History of Science, Public Issues::05.03.99. General or miscellaneous 
Abstract: The last decades of the twentieth century and the beginning of the new millennium have been marked by a strong focus on the past and, consequently, a proliferation of studies on memory. Perhaps this great attention to the memory implies a new way of thinking and experiencing time and space, two categories that are profoundly changed by the phenomenon of cultural globalization (Huyssen, 2003). If it is true that with new technologies, the space and time have been dramatically compressed, it is true that the horizons of our imagination have expanded to dimensions of space and time are able to cross the boundaries of a locally circumscribed vision. Our past and our memory so no longer have those boundaries clear and delimited by a tradition that had established local and national roots and was included in specific geographic boundaries. The revival of studies on memory has included large Italian earthquakes occurred in the last 150 years. Several initiatives, research, exhibitions and commemorations have wanted to remember these great catastrophes of our country. What is the relationship between these initiatives and the reduction of seismic risk? What relationships are there between memory, forgetting and seismic risk? On the issue of seismic risk reduction fits well the provocative phrase of Pierre Nora: "We speak of memory because there is no more"? (Pierre Nora, Les Lieux de mémoire, Gallimard 1997). A direction to work on is provided by Aleida Assmann (1999) that associates the idea of crisis of memory with the crisis of the "living memory", that is linked to disappearance of the eyewitnesses of the greatest tragedies of the twentieth century. When the generation who lived through L'Aquila earthquake of the 6 april 2009 will be died, the memory of the earthquake will vanish with them? To answer these questions and to propose communication strategies capable of persisting the passage of generations, this work explores an interdisciplinary point of view, the recent studies on memory: subjectivity, emotion, context, time and evolution , the tension between memory and forgetting, information, memory as construction. To reach the conclusion that today there is no single definition of memory because the memory is dynamic. Procedural memory, which reshapes itself according to the present. So what do today to develop effective risk communication strategies? Starting from the assumption of Mieke Bal (1999, 9. VII), that the cultural memory has to be seen "as an activity that takes place in the present, in which the past is continuously modified and re-described, even when it continues to shaping the future ", we can not forget that the problem of memory is always located in the relationship between those who" produces memory "and who" benefits from it ". To overcome the dichotomy between affective experience and individual and collective historical experience and to counteract the effect of oblivion, those involved in communication and risk reduction should move towards a constructive direction of memory, capable of enhancing the past, live the present and the future orientation.
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