In 1938, the Turkish state massacred thousands of people in Dersim, and forced thousands to move out of the city. Unacknowledged within official Turkish history, the event has a paradoxical existence in Dersim. Absent in the form of a collective memory, 1938 was simultaneously being referred to in life stories as well as within social gatherings and political discussions. In this paper I look into different relationships between past, present, and future in the shaping of subjectivity, identity, and movements in the absence of a collective memory. Combining oral history, life narrative interviews, and ethnography, this research reveals that temporality is experienced, thought of, imagined, and transferred by subjects in multiple and complex forms. Fragmented stories and life narratives break the silences, and they attain meanings within a consciousness of history, a sense of history and time, an implicit understanding of past, present, and future, which shapes identity and subjectivity.
- © 2016 International Institute for Qualitative Research, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign