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Gerald Raunig

REVOLUTIONS ARE SHORT-LIVED, ephemeral events that shatter the continuity of history yet persist in acts of remembrance—official or alternative, pro or contra, systemic or incidental. However, the recent surge in “revolutionary” pop-cultural iconography, from the ubiquitous Che to the imagery and slogans of May ’68 and the Red Army Faction, seems designed to sabotage, rather than perpetuate, remembrance. In contrast to the nostalgia culture of the ’70s and ’80s, as analyzed by Fredric Jameson, which focused on pilfering the popular culture of earlier decades, today’s nostalgia industry also embraces more political material, but with a similar end result: amnesia masquerading as anamnesis. Fragments of history return as decontextualized signifiers that suggest little more than fashionability—until, that is, they end up in a situation in which they regain something resembling actual

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