Collective Memory, Social Representations of Intercommunal Relations, and Conflict Transformation in Divided Cyprus

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Abstract

The paper discusses the main findings of a line of research that explored the social representations of the Cyprus issue and its history as well as intercommunal relations by Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots in the divided country of Cyprus. It focuses on the role of official historical narratives and their relation to social representations of intercommunal relations in Cyprus as manifested in oral history accounts of former inhabitants of mixed villages. Such inhabitants have living memories of intercommunal habitation before the war of 1974 and the geographical division of Cyprus by the Turkish army that year. These research findings are framed in the context of emerging interdisciplinary theoretical discussions between historians and social psychologists on the links between oral history accounts and collective memory in postconflict societies and their role in conflict transformation through intergroup contact and historical dialogue.

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