The negative representation of the communist era has dominated the public sphere of many East European societies since the 1990s. In light of this representation, people have been defined as victims and/or heroes. But it has also entrapped historical imagination within the narrow discourse of heroism and suffering. The last decade, however, has shown that a number of groups in post-communist societies have challenged the hegemony of negative representation. Consequently a less politicized, but more pragmatic attitude has appeared in the public sphere with the introduction of alternative representations of the past. Many studies of post-communist nostalgia have depicted these shifts. The major goal of this research project is to explore how memory agents in different East European societies (re)construct the collective memory of the communist period and what kind of strategies social and political agents use to represent this period in one way or another. The project attempts to answer a number of research questions: How have the memory agents advanced the institutionalization of particular representations? How do the top-down and bottom-up strategies of coming to terms with the past mingle in East European societies? Which are the most effective memory agents in advocating either a negative or positive representation of the communist era in the public sphere? Why do the memory agents challenge the dominant representations of the communist period? The conceptual architecture of my research project is based on social representation theory and on the phenomenon of collective memory. Various data sets and methodologies will be used in the project: study of secondary sources, document analysis, expert interviews, case analysis.