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History between Red Brackets

The Cold War in History Museums around the Baltic Sea

Johan Hegardt

This article derives from the research project entitled “Art, Culture and Conflict: Transformations of Museums and Memory Culture around the Baltic Sea after 1989,” which was financed by the Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies, Södertörn University. It discusses how history museums in Finland, Sweden, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania have reacted to the fall of the Iron Curtain and the conclusion of the Soviet occupation of the three Baltic states. It argues that the Cold War is understood by the museums as a special historical epoch not comparable to any other historical period in these six countries. It concludes that to be able to deal with this particular point in history we either need to metaphorically put the Cold War in between red brackets, as it were, which makes it possible to address the Cold War when needed, or to place it outside the historical narrative of the modern rise of the five discussed nation-states.

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Conal McCarthy

Museum Worlds: Advances in Research Volume 7 (2019) is an open issue, covering a rich variety of topics reflecting the range and diversity of today’s museums around the globe. This year’s volume has seven research articles, four of them dealing with very different but equally fascinating issues: contested African objects in UK museums, industrial heritage in Finland, manuscript collecting in Britain and North America, and Asian art exhibitions in New Zealand. But this issue also has a special section devoted to Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, which contains three articles and an interview.

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Steven J. Hoffman, Fanny Wonu Veys, Joseph P Feldman, Natasha Barrett, Elsa Lenz Kothe, Antonino Crisà, Sayantan Mukhopadhyay, Masaaki Morishita, and Ewa Klekot

the Finnish studio Lahdelma & Mahlamäki, opened to the visitors waiting in a line to see it. A year later, the core exhibition was inaugurated. In 2016 Polin was awarded the title of European Museum of the Year. The exhibition, on which the team of