Podcast: Digital Nostalgias – Anemoia Online

Hannah Uguru explores digital nostalgia, interviewing John Koenig about the phenomenon as an extension of his concept of anemoia - nostalgia for things not experienced.

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Podcast: Digital Nostalgias - Anemoia Online
Text: Digital Nostalgias: Anemoias Online - An Interview With John Koenig, overlayed on a collage of digital devices and a sepia photo of an early c20th city

Hannah Uguru looks to understand the phenomenon of online fixations on, and nostalgias for, pasts never experienced in the current cycle of social media. Pointing to resurgent Y2K fashion trends, Tumblr nostalgia profiles, and more concerning aspects like radicalisation via right-wing ideas of a ‘forgotten past’.

In an interview with author John Koenig, writer of 2021’s New York Times bestselling The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, his concept of anemoia – nostalgia for a time you’ve never known – is brought into conversation with the online worlds that indulge in this feeling.

Both wistful for and critical of imagined pasts, the two excavate a map of ideas about the origins of desires for histories never lived, and ones that never die