Oct 29–31, 2009

Dealing with the Past, reaching the Future

Historical Memory and Social Transformation in (South) Africa and Germany after 1989

International Conference

The role of historical memory and of cultural remembrance in societies dealing with dramatic transformations and, at times, traumatic pasts are numerous. In this conference, we will look at post-apartheid South Africa and reunified German society, how each country views itself, as well as the differences and similarities in their approach to interrogating and confronting the past.

The Afro-German dialogue looks at the politics of remembrance and current practices in the process of historical remembrance: How do we remember and how do we process these memories? What versions of the past exist and what versions are negotiated by society and the political arena? What role does the question concerning the future form or common vision of a society play in shaping today’s politics of remembrance? Representatives from the academic world, civil society, the media and culture will be discussing the potential for integration and reconciliation within the contemporary cultures of remembrance in South Africa and Germany.

In cooperation with the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study