Hard work memories are part of the labour world and, by remembering the evolution that industry underwent in the last century, we better understand the role that workers played in this process. In your neighbourhood or city can you find memories of an industrial past?

74. Worker in the leatherworking process using quicklime. End of XIX century. Interactive Museum of Industry, Gabrovo, Bulgaria.


The speed of the Digital Revolution makes us often forget what the first computers and communications were like. What is the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic in this revolution? Can you illustrate this acceleration with an image?

75. Plotter produced in Mechatronics – Gabrovo. Ca. 1980, Period of State Socialism. Interactive Museum of Industry, Gabrovo, Bulgaria.

Memory is the human capacity to acquire, to store and to record information. It is therefore essential for organising ourselves in time and space. Memory is present in almost all the tasks we carry out during the shifts of 8 hours work, 8 hours leisure and 8 hours rest. We are able to learn throughout life with the help of memory. We are able to return home every day because we use our memory. Memory allows us to tell us who we are, what we work on in a company, to which club we belong or if we have a religion. Memory works in association and can be triggered by different stimuli: smell, photographic images, music, voices.

Each person remembers facts in their own way and that is why for many scientists memory represents only a part of a given event. The process of remembering is a social act, therefore it reflects the society, time and group(s) in which the person who remembers was inserted. According to Maurice Halbwachs (1877-1945) the evocation of a memory is always the result of the interaction of the individual who remembers the group where he/she is inserted. That is, memory is always a collective process (La mémoire collective, 1950). In the world of labour, workers have different memories about their experience. In industry, memory can be individual, collective and even part of corporate identity. Video and audio records of the life history of these workers are held in the British Library.