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Lea Garcia

Lea Garcia holds a BA degree in Intercultural Management and Communication from Karlshochschule International University (Karlsruhe) and an MA degree in Transcultural Studies/Cultural Anthropology from Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-University (Bonn). Furthermore, she studied Linguistics and Eastern European Studies at the University of Hamburg and visited courses at Vilnius University, Lomonosov Moscow State University and Xi’an Eurasia University through various exchange programs. Since April 2024 she is a PhD candidate in the International Research Training Group “Baltic Peripeties”, studying (post-)colonial narratives in memory practices of the Baltics. She is a co-organizer of the seminar series Decolonize Eastern Europe in Hamburg. Her research interests include the construction and negotiation of cultural identities, collective memory and memory culture, museum and heritage studies, discourse linguistics as well as postcolonial studies.

University of Greifswald

IRTG Baltic Peripeties
Anklamer Str. 20
17489 Greifswald

Room: 0.01
+49 3834 420 3595

Chair of Ukrainian Cultural Studies

(Post-)colonial Narratives in Institutional Memory Practices of the Baltics – A Comparative Museum Analysis

The project addresses the narrative memory cultures remembering the Soviet occupation in the three Baltic countries: Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine has reinforced the debate of Soviet Postcolonialism and practices of decolonization. In this context, public discourse discussing their Soviet and Russian heritage has intensified and prompted a re-evaluation of memory culture. This is exemplified by measures, such as removing Soviet statues from public spaces or renaming public institutions and places, always referencing the war as an important factor for the adjusted approaches to the past. The objective of this project is to analyze institutional memory practices that are part of the indicated process of change in memory cultures. This will be carried out by studying the narrative representations of the Soviet past in the museum sphere that are applied in these practices and by analyzing them through a postcolonial lens.

The research questions examine the issue at hand using a threefold approach. Firstly, a descriptive perspective is adopted to identify the narrative constructions of the field and answer the following question: Which narratives constitute the representation of the past in memory practices in the museum space? Secondly, a postcolonial lens is used to interpret the identified narratives and indicate where the experience of occupation is narrated as a colonial past and where it is narrated differently. This perspective seeks to answer the following question: Which narratives constitute a postcolonial commemoration of the past and how do they function? Lastly, a comparative perspective is used to identify areas of unity and disparity between the different narratives encountered in the field. Accordingly, the following question is answered: Where do narratives align and where do they oppose each other when comparing memory practices?

  • Das Land spricht. Sámi Horizonte at MARKK – Museum am Rothenbaum. Kulturen und Künste der Welt, September 8, 2023 – March 31, 2024,” [exhibition review] H-Soz-Kult, February 17, 2024, http://www.hsozkult.de/exhibitionreview/id/reex-139791.
  • “Reflexion über Subalternität,” [online article] Amerigrafías. Investigaciones, Memorias y Reflexiones, April 4, 2022, https://amerigrafias.wordpress.com/2022/04/04/reflexion-uber-subalternitat/.
  • Fackler, Guido and Brigitte Heck (ed.). Identitätsfabrik reloaded?! Museen als Resonanzräume kultureller Vielfalt und pluraler Lebensstile, [review] Volkskunde 122,1 (2021), 135–140.
  • (with Dilara Acikgöz, Fiona Dörich and Arta Tairi) “Moralisierte Stadt. Sexarbeit zwischen Verrichtungsboxen und Sexsteuerautomat,” in BonnErLeben. Streifzüge durch städtische Alltagskultur, eds. Ruth Dorothea Eggel and Fabio Freiberg, Ilmtal-Weinstraße: VDG, 2021, 105–117.
  • Participation in the Winter School Lithuanian Language and Culture, Vilnius University, January 4 – February 2, 2024.
  • “Negotiating Cultural Identity in the Lithuanian Diaspora,” New Year Symposium of the Claussen-Simon-Foundation, Hamburg, January 18, 2024.
  • “Die Corona-Krise im digitalen musealen Raum,” poster presentation at Analysen des Alltags: Komplexität, Konjunktur, Krise, 44. Kongress der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Empirische Kulturwissenschaft e.V. (DGEKW), Dortmund, October 4-7, 2023.
  • “Negotiating Cultural Identity in the Lithuanian Diaspora,” Ethnological Summer Symposium organised by the Frobenius Institute, Frankfurt am Main, June 22-23, 2023.
  • Participation in the Summer School Lithuanian Language and Culture, Vilnius University, summer 2022.
  • “Moralisierte Stadt: Sexarbeit zwischen Verrichtungsboxen und Sexsteuerautomat,” 33. dgv-Studierendentagung Sex.Sex.Sex. Kulturwissenschaftliche Höhepunkte & Abgründe, online, May 13-16, 2021.
  • “Das immaterielle Kulturerbe der baltischen Tanz- und Liederfeste,” Symposium der Forschungsklasse ‘Welterbe’, University of Cologne [online], February 2, 2021.
  • Participation in the Summer School Diplomacy and Leadership, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, summer 2019.
  • Participation in the Summer School Intercultural Creativity, Eurasia University, Xi’an, China, summer 2017.

University studies and degrees

  • Since April 2024
  • Doctoral Researcher at the International Research Training Group “Baltic Peripeties. Narratives of Reformations, Revolutions and Catastrophes” at the University of Greifswald.
  • 09/2023 – 04/2024
  • Doctoral Researcher at the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-University Bonn.
  • 2019 – 2023
  • MA Transcultural Studies / Cultural Anthropology, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-University Bonn. Thesis: “‘Your Home Away From The Homeland’. Negotiating Cultural Identity in the Lithuanian Diaspora. Case Study of the Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture” (Fieldwork in Chicago).
  • 2018 – 2019
  • Semester abroad, Philology at Vilnius University.
  • 2016 – 2019
  • BA Intercultural Management and Communication, Karlshochschule International University, Karlsruhe. Thesis: “Narrative Reconstruction of the Soviet Past in Lithuanian Cultural Institutions. Case Study of the Museum of Occupations and Freedom Fights” (Fieldwork in Vilnius).

Secondary Studies

  • 2022 – 2024
  • Bachelor studies in Linguistics and Eastern European Studies, University of Hamburg
  • 2020 – 2022
  • Bachelor studies in Linguistics and Phonetics, Ethnology, University of Cologne (transfer to University of Hamburg autumn 2023/24).

Professional background

  • 09/2023 – 03/2024
  • Assistant researcher at the Max Kade Institute for German-American Studies, University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA.
  • 09/2023 – 12/2023
  • Research student at the Academy of World Religions, University of Hamburg.
  • 01/2023 – 03/2023
  • Intern at the Max Kade Institute for German-American Studies, University of Wisconsin – Madison, USA.
  • 09/2021 – 10/2021
  • Intern at the Museum of Cultures, Basel, Switzerland.
  • 03/2021 – 04/2021
  • Intern at the Museum of European Cultures, Berlin.
  • 02/2019 – 05/2019
  • Intern at the Institute for Migration Studies and Intercultural Learning, Bonn.