Fascism and its Afterlife in Architecture

Elke Heckner


The recent opening to the public of large-scale National Socialist installations in Germany – like the Denkort Bunker “Valentin” in Bremen-Farge – has prompted questions on how to address the legacy of Nazi advances in science and technology in musealized spaces, and, more generally, how to curate inconvenient military history. To tackle these questions, the issue of affect is crucial. Curation must be able to confront articulations of right-wing extremist “reactionary” affect in and beyond the museum setting. This has been a challenge for Dresden’s newly redesigned Militärhistorisches Museum der Bundeswehr, whose anti-militaristic message is being drowned out by right-wing xenophobic demonstrations in Dresden’s streets. This paper seeks to counter current curatorial strategies that displace and suppress affect. By considering affect’s productive potential without ignoring the record of Nazi manipulations of affect, it proposes the concept of an ‘upstander’ museum and delineates a new methodology for rethinking affect in curatorial settings.

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Copyright (c) 2017 Elke Heckner

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Museum and Society

ISSN 1479-8360