What would have been my name? The Post-Memory of the “Generation After” the Revival Process in Bulgaria

This research paper looks at the “generation after” the so-called “Revival Process” (1984–89) in order to explore the intergenerational transmission of memories of family traumas related to the largest assimilation campaign in Communist Bulgaria, which was implemented in the 1980s. To investigate how young Turks and Muslims hold, recollect, and contemplate family memories, this qualitative empirical research was conducted through in-depth interviews complemented with a semi-structured and theme-guided questionnaire. Adopting an ethnographic sensibility, this study unravels an inconspicuous yet present web of family memories about the Revival Process and its aftermath, and an accompanying narrative that is verbalised in the most intimate spaces of everyday life. At a personal level, it turns out that the Turkish and Muslim generation of post-memory does not ransack the history of the Revival Process for political profit. Instead, it argues that there is a lack of self-examination with respect to the recent past in Bulgaria.

Francesco Trupia

Francesco Trupia

Francesco Trupia is a post-doctoral researcher at the University Centre for Excellence IMSErt “Interacting Minds, Environments and Societies” at the Nicolaus Copernicus University, Toruń – Poland. He holds a PhD in Philosophy from the Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski, Bulgaria. His research interests range from identity and memory politics to issues of democratisation and borderisation in Southeast Europe and the Caucasus.

1. In Bulgaria, how does the Turkish generation of post-memory remember the State-run assimilation campaign of the so-called Revival Process?

2. What knowledge do the family experiences convey to the “generation after” the Revival Process?

3. How do young Turks and Muslims hold and recollect the historical events of the Revival Process?

4. What can a web of post-memories tell us about the socialist past in Bulgaria, and particularly about the Revival Process?


Southeastern Europe