[artinfo] CFP: War, Revolution and Memory: Post-War Monuments in Post-Communist Europe
ab at mikro.in-berlin.de
Fri Oct 7 20:46:46 CEST 2016
From: Jelica Jovanovic <jelicajovanovic011 at gmail.com>
Date: Oct 6, 2016
Subject: CFP: War, Revolution and Memory (Zagreb, 17-18 Feb 17)
Zagreb, February 17 - 18, 2017
Deadline: Nov 1, 2016
War, Revolution and Memory: Post-War Monuments in Post-Communist Europe
World War II caused a collective trauma in the memory of Europeans,
which resulted in the erection of countless monuments all over Europe
to commemorate the events and battles as well as the civilian and
military victims. In the period of almost 45 years, numerous memorial
sites were created in the Communist Europe. Contrary to the dominant
belief that the monuments in the Eastern Bloc and Non-aligned
Yugoslavia were created exclusively in the spirit of Socialist
Realism and erected by order of state authorities, typologically and
stylistically these monuments form a heterogeneous group, and were
erected both by the state and the local communities.
Since their creation, and due to the fact that they were conceived as
"intentional monuments" (in the sense of Riegl's gewollte Denkmale),
a number of governmental regulations have been adopted in order to
ensure that this heritage is adequately protected and maintained.
The decline of Communism and the introduction of the market economy
and multi-party system in the newly emerged countries resulted in
multiple effects, both on the institutional and symbolic level. On
the institutional and legislative level, it brought significant
changes within the legal framework, functioning of institutions and
civil services of the post-socialist countries. On the symbolic level
this led to rejection of the bearers of symbolic capital of the
Therefore, the perception of monuments created in the period of Real
Socialism to commemorate World War II was rapidly changing, and the
meaning they conveyed, as well as their memorial and aesthetic value
were being questioned, challenged and/or denied. Often violent, break
with the former regime resulted in their relocation, temporary or
permanent removal from the public space and vandalism or destruction.
Norbert Huse tried to define these phenomena by devising the category
of uncomfortable architectural monuments (unbequeme Baudenkmale).
Twenty-seven years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, we are still
witnessing the denial, destruction and marginalization of these
monuments as unacceptable, unsightly, totalitarian, etc.
The attempts to reevaluate this heritage, as well as to develop
different strategies of its public presentation, differ from state to
state, and the criteria and guidelines that should be used to devise
a "new" perception, followed by the management and maintenance of the
denied monuments, mainly depend on the political and economic
situation in different countries.
Taking into account the scope of this heritage, the efforts invested
in rediscovery, protection and conservation treatment of memorials
require significant funds. But before raising the question of
funding, one should ask if and for whom this disputed heritage should
be restored? In what ways did the change of political paradigm make
these monuments undesirable in the post-socialist countries? Have
processes of denial and suppression contributed to the cancellation
of an inherent ideological charge of these monuments? If so, are we
allowed to treat them exclusively as aesthetic objects, particularly
when they are preserved in fragments? Should these monuments, as
relics of a forgotten past, be seen as a part of the tourism
industry? Could the damaged or destroyed artifacts be restored to
their original state or should the conservation treatment also
commemorate the period of denial and suppression? What is the role of
heritage communities in relation to survival and revival of this
These questions will be discussed at an international conference in
the following sessions:
- MONUMENT PROTECTION AND TRANSITION - preservation of World War II
monuments in the former Eastern Bloc and Yugoslavia and the impact of
recent political history on the reception of monuments (revaluation
processes, historical revisionism and perception, memorial and
- PRACTICE OF PROTECTION AND CHANGES TO THE LEGAL AND INSTITUTIONAL
FRAMEWORK - Legislative changes and their impact on the issues of
jurisdiction and management, ownership, etc. (role of management in
the processes of rediscovery, research and conservation)
- EXAMPLES OF MANAGEMENT - the models of managing monuments and
memorial complexes, good and bad practices, socialist heritage and
- CONSERVATION - the problems of maintenance, interpretation and
representation of World War II monuments, use of traditional
methodologies within a changed system of values.
The conference is organised by NGO SF:ius - Social Fringe:
interesting untold stories in cooperation with ICOMOS Croatia as a
part of the international project INAPPROPRIATE MONUMENTS.
Project INAPPROPRIATE MONUMENTS is supported by European Cultural
Foundation (ECF) and Swiss Government trough the Swiss Agency for
Development and Cooperation (SDC).
The official language of the conference is English.
The conference organizers will subsidize the cost of accommodation
for non-Zagreb participants.
Please submit 500-word abstracts and a short bio (in English) to
sfius at sfius.org by November 1st 2016. The successful participants
will be notified by November 15th.
Reference / Quellennachweis:
CFP: War, Revolution and Memory (Zagreb, 17-18 Feb 17). In:
H-ArtHist, Oct 6, 2016. <http://arthist.net/archive/13886>.
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