The nation and remembers: National identity and shared memory in television documetaries

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Abstract

This article explores the impact of recent trends towards globalisation on the ways in which national identity and 'shared memory' find expression in the media. Concentrating on television documentaries produced through international coproductions, I show how national consciousness became a key ideological component in the construction of televised narratives. This illustration will be made through the examination of a particular co-produced television documentary, The Fifty Years War. To make this programme possible, funding from three television networks was secured, with each source given the right to use the produced footage to construct its own version of the final product. The completed series thus exists in three distinct versions, British (BBC2), American (PBS) and Middle Eastern (MBC). Since the final product of this co-production was split into several national/cultural versions, the content of the different national/cultural projects became translated into different presentations of reality'. In analysing the similarities and differences among the three end-products, this article offers some reflections regarding the three-sided interplay between television, shared memory and national identity in an age of globalisation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)423-442
Number of pages20
JournalNations and Nationalism
Volume11
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2005

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