In our recent article in Memory Studies, Yifat Gutman and I define memory activism as the strategic commemoration of the past to challenge (or protect) dominant views on the past and the institutions that represent them. The goal of memory activism is mnemonic change or to resist change, that is, it can be used for causes across the political spectrum.
I have been working on this phenomenon for many years, starting out by focusing on postwar Germany. Currently, I am studying memory activism in the context of memories of biodiversity loss and family separation policies under the broad umbrella of slow memory. I have been engaged in a number of collaborative projects on this topic, resulting most recently in the Routledge Handbook of Memory Activism (with Yifat Gutman) and De-Commemoration (with Sarah Gensburger).