Jul 2–5, 2008

Memory, Art and Culture

Remembrance and Dealing with the past after 1989

Jul 2–5, 2008

Since 1989/90, the divided memory culture of Eastern and Western Europe has been changing within the new social, political and cultural sphere of post-socialist Europe. This interdisciplinary conference reflects on individual and collective memory and the interpretation of remembrance in Poland, Germany, Czech Republic, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo after 1989.

In reunified Germany, in Poland and Czech Republic public discourses on war, flight and expulsion are questioning national myths, and politics of memory are challenging the relations between these three countries. In contrast to the peaceful transition in socialist Central Europe, the former Yugoslavia experienced violent upheavals, wars and new forced migrations, which led to nation building processes in Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia and Kosovo.

Despite the different historical contexts in and between these countries, their societies and people face similar experiences of war, flight, expulsion and (ethnic) post-war conflicts.

The goal is to open a dialogue and active exchange between artists, historians and social scientists and examine national, transnational and European cultural memory discourses in post-war former Yugoslavia and Central Europe. This interdisciplinary conference focuses on the following questions: “How are the societies of Central-Eastern Europe and South-Eastern Europe dealing with their past? What does European memory culture mean and how are artists dealing with memory culture? Are there common ways in Europe to remember the different and similar experiences of war, flight, expulsion and (ethnic) post-war conflicts? Are there any limits that can be defined regarding the common memory culture?”

The conference (Wednesday 2 July and Thursday 3 July), which is open to the public, and a follow-up closed workshop (Friday 4 July and Saturday 5 July) are the starting points of the transnational project MEMORY, ART and CULTURE, which will be developed into a year long cooperation between scientists and artists in each one of the selected countries. Through creative dialogue and an active exchange between the project participants from the different countries, selected artistic and cultural works on memory will be elaborated for a forthcoming exhibition and publication.

Organizer: Netzwerk Migration in Europa e.V. in cooperation with Allianz Kulturstiftung and Haus der Kulturen der Welt

Funded by: Allianz Kulturstiftung, Stiftung zur Aufarbeitung der SED-Diktatur and Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung