Historiska jubileer – det förflutna som förbannelse eller livgivare. Om vår fascination inför de jämna åren

  • Klas-Göran Karlsson


The article starts from the observation that historical jubilees, anniversaries and commemorations hold a prominent position in present-day public discourse. The fact that something happened fifty or one hundred years ago is obviously considered important for posterity. The purpose is to analyze the conditions, the manifestations and, to a certain extent also the consequences of this abundant use of even historical dates in current culture and society. Analytically, the concepts of historical culture and politics of history are introduced to facilitate our understanding of the jubilee phenomenon. Two general perspectives are suggested, though not fully analytically carried through. One of them indicates that historical jubilees are actively and consciously set up and celebrated by certain “carriers” of history to satisfy certain interests and achieve certain goals. The other perspective indicates that historical jubilees, as aspects of often prolonged conflicts, are deeply rooted in existing historical cultures. The conclusion is that the current historical jubilees are multifarious cultural and political phenomena, and that our fascination for even dates and more or less regular returns of histories considered important has several different motive forces.