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30 Years after the Barricades of January 1991: Media Event for the Transfer of Collective Memory and Knowledge of History

Laura Ardava-Āboliņa
University of Latvia

Abstract. In the middle of pandemic, January 2021 marked the 30th anniversary of the Barricades of January 1991. Media events have the function of transmitting social memory and teaching history to an audience of children, young people, and people who do not have these memories in their personal experience. Sociologist John Thompson introduced the concept of ‘mediated historicity’ almost two decades ago. He explained that most individuals in Western societies gained their knowledge on 20th century history primarily from media products (Thompson, 2004).
The study analyzes the discourses of remembrance of the Barricades in the most popular media in Latvia: “Latvian Television”,, Channel TV,, “Latvian Radio 1” (Media Literacy of the Population of Latvia: Quantitative Research, 2020), paying particular attention to the content of the remembrance (exhibitions, concert programs, memories, documentaries, photo competitions for young people, book openings, etc.).
The theoretical basis of the research is formed by the theoretical approaches of media event and mediated historicity. Media messages was analyzed with the discourse historical method by Ruth Wodak. The research results confirm the impact of the current epidemiological situation on the sense of the commemoration forms and the emotions of the participants, new educational dimension and orientation towards the past.

Keywords: Barricades of January 1991, commemoration, media, media event, mediated historicity pandemic

In: Human, Technologies and Quality of Education, 2022. Proceedings of Scientific Papers = Cilvēks, tehnoloģijas un izglītības kvalitāte, 2022. Rakstu krājums
Riga, University of Latvia, 2022. 1135 p. Ed. L. Daniela
ISBN 978-9934-18-911-1