Heritage and Memory of Conflict
Participants approach cultural forms not as sealed historical sites but as fragile entities of an ongoing present.
What happens when the heritage and memory of colonialism, occupation, slavery, and the holocaust collide in the public sphere of contemporary multicultural societies? The analysis of this dynamic juncture of multiple cultural narratives, dissonant memories and contested spaces involves the power of aesthetics as well as the art of absence and forgetting, and the impossibility of representation.
Scholars from various backgrounds (memory studies, history, literature, theatre, and the new media) focus on three interrelated areas: the Dynamics of Memory (Intergenerational and Transnational Memory), Material Culture (including Landscapes and Archeology), and Mediated Memory (Literature, Audiovisual Media and Museums).
Participants cooperate with existing and new research programs, initiatives, and organizations such as the CLUE research cluster ‘The Heritage and Memory of Conflict and War’ at VU/UvA, the NWO research line ‘Cultural Dynamics and Dynamics of Memory’ (co-sponsored by the Ministry of VWS and most of the Netherlands war memorials and memorial museums, such as Camp Westerbork Memorial Center and the Jewish Historical Museum), the Anglo-Dutch AHRC-NWO network program ‘Landscapes of War, Trauma and Occupation’ (VU/UvA/Cambridge), and the NWO-NIAS program ‘Terrorscapes: Transnational Memory of Postwar Europe’ (VU/UvA), the Dutch Oral History Society, and the Institute for Historical Justice and Reconciliation (IHJR).