Het spokend verleden en de onmacht van de rede: Hoe radicaal-Vlaanderen het verleden in het heden houdt // [The haunting past and the impotence of reason: How radical Flemish nationalists keep the past in the present]

During the last decennium there have been several unsuccessful attempts in Belgium to provoke closure and to manage the painful past in the name of national reconciliation. In this article we ask how, despite these attempts, a minority of radical Flemish nationalists has succeeded in keeping the past alive. While their constant evocation of the past is often perceived as the result of a pathology or a trauma, we think that this minority has developed a particular concept of the relationship between past and present which fulfils a specific political purpose. In order to analyse how they succeed in keeping the past present, thereby contesting the dominant I regime d'historicite'(F. Hartog), we shall focus on the specific cult they have developed around the 'Flemish dead'.