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Title: Martyrdom and witnessing : violence, terror and recollection in Cyprus
Authors: Sant Cassia, Paul
Keywords: Martyrdom
Witnesses -- Cyprus
Violence -- Cyprus
Terror -- Cyprus
Issue Date: 1999
Publisher: Routledge
Citation: Sant Cassia, P. (1999). Martyrdom and witnessing: violence, terror and recollection in Cyprus. Terrorism and Political Violence, 11(1), 22-54.
Abstract: This paper examines the relationship between history, memory and experience in Cyprus by reference to the 1955–59 EOKA armed nationalist struggle, and its subsequent interpretation by Greek Cypriot villagers. While ethnic remembering as sponsored by political authorities was unambiguous, personal villager accounts of the past are constructed differently, according to notions of witnessing, experience, suspicion, attribution of motives, etc. Villagers evoke memory and witnessing of the past, and of themselves, to make statements about morality, responsibility and merit. The tension between official accounts of the past ('history') and experience ('witnessing') suggests that the nation state in Cyprus has been an imagined community, but in a completely different sense to that outlined by Anderson. It has always been an imagined community in the past, or in the future ‐ never in the divisive present.
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