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Initiated by Halbwachs (1925, 1950) and Bartlett (1932), the interest for collective memory have recently been revived (Middleton and Edwards, 1997; Penebaker, Paez, and Rimé, 1997; Haas and Jodelet, 1999). Collective memory contributes to fashioning group identity. It is therefore of crucial social and political importance. Memory is likely to be distorted in order to serve identity-related needs (Baumeister, 1997). The history of Belgian colonial action is a highgly relevant in this regard in view of the public controversies that have surrounded Belgian colonial action in Congo. We study how this history is reconstructed in the discourse of former colonials and colonised by focusing on the identity-related dynamics governing those accounts.
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