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This online workshop will explore the role of cultural and civil society initiatives in managing memories of disputed territories, focusing on cases in Armenia, Poland and Lithuania.

The panel of experts includes:

Krzysztof Czyżewski – Practitioner of ideas, writer, philosopher, culture animator, theatre director, editor, president of the Borderland Foundation in Sejny, Poland.

Egidijus Aleksandravičius, Professor of History and Head of the Lithuanian Emigration Institute of Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas, Lithuania and chairman of the board of the Open Lithuania Foundation.

Lusine Kharatian, Head of the Institute for International Cooperation of German Adult Education Association Armenia Country Office, involved in the DVV-initiated Armenia-Turkey reconciliation project ‘Speaking to One Another: Adult Education and Oral History Contributing to Armenian-Turkish Reconciliation’.

The event will be chaired by DisTerrMem member Professor Nina Parish, University of Stirling, UK.

The panel will address the role of culture and civil society initiatives in managing memories of disputed territories. Recognition of the profound impact culture has on peace building and reconciliation processes has led to interdisciplinary efforts in creating models of art-based educational programs and socially engaged cultural practices on community levels that contribute to practice-oriented approaches to conflict resolution through culture. In many post-conflict societies, however, civil society organizations are mostly involved in capacity building, reconstruction and rehabilitation initiatives, with local and international support. Often, the main issues of such dialogue projects and initiatives related to conflicting memories remain their polarization from general public moods, their narrow beneficiary base, and a low level of mutual trust. Our panel will explore the benefits and the challenges of carrying out this type of memory work, which engages with often difficult and contentious history in relation to different borderlands. Our three speakers from Armenia, Lithuania and Poland come to these areas with vast experience of different and overlapping perspectives (NGOs, history and philosophy) and our panel seeks to interrogate their approaches to this memory work in the past, present and future.

Who is this event for?

This event is one of a series of three 2-hour workshops taking place on 7-8-9 December 2022. These free events are aimed at policy makers, heritage professionals, NGOs, grassroots organisations, and academic and community researchers with an interest in the management of memories in border conflicts. Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in discussions with the expert panel and with researchers from across the DisTerrMem project’s seven partner organisations.

Find out more and reserve your place

Please register for this free event via eventbrite at www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/civil-society-initiatives-in-managing-memories-of-disputed-territories-tickets-472920306367

Please note: event times quoted on eventbrite show Central European Time (CET), 2pm-4pm.

Zoom link to join event: https://bath-ac-uk.zoom.us/j/94798833050?pwd=SFE0MzNFVjBWeCs0ektxUEd6S2lFdz09 / Meeting ID: 947 9883 3050 / Passcode: 116743

About the DisTerrMem project

Disputed Territories and Memory (DisTerrMem) is a five-year project funded by Horizon 2020, the European Union’s biggest research and innovation programme.

DisTerrMem brings together an international team of researchers from seven organisations who are working collaboratively to explore the management of competing memories of disputed territories across borders in non-conflictual ways in the context of peace-building. Read more about the project and its work.

Speaker biographies

Nina Parish (Chair) - Professor of French and Francophone Studies and currently Head of the Division of Literature & Languages at the University of Sterling, Nina works on representations of difficult history, the migrant experience and multilingualism in the museum space. She is currently involved in two projects: ‘Memories from the Margins”’looking at unofficial memories of the civil war in Lebanon and the war in Syria and ‘DisTerrMem’, an EU-funded Horizon 2020 project which examines the management of competing, often highly antagonistic, memories of disputed territories across borders focusing on the case studies of Armenia, Poland and Pakistan. She is also an expert on the interaction between text and image in the field of modern and contemporary French Studies. 

Krzysztof Czyżewski – Practitioner of ideas, writer, philosopher, culture animator, theater director, editor. President of the Borderland Foundation in Sejny, Poland, a director of the Centre “Borderland of Arts, Cultures and Nations”, and a visiting professor of University of Bologna. Awarded a Prize of Dan David and Princess Margriet European Award for Culture. In the framework of the Foundation and The Centre he realizes the following projects: Meeting the Other or on Virtue of Tolerance, The Memory of Ancient Times, Home – Nest – Temple, Central European Cultural Forum, Open Region of Central and Eastern Europe, The Borderland Culture Documentary Centre, The Borderland School, Class of Cultural Heritage, Café Europa, Glass Bead Game, Mobile Academy “New Agora”, Laboratories of Intercultural Dialog, Tales of Coexistence, Medea/Ponte. His latest book “Toward Xenopolis. Visions from the Borderland” has been published by University of Rochester Press (2022).

Egidijus Aleksandravičius - Professor of History and a Head of Lithuanian Emigration Institute of Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas, Lithuania. His scholarly interests focus on 19th century social and cultural history, the development of Lithuanian diaspora, politics of memory and Lithuanian historiography. He is an author of twenty books and more than one hundred academical articles. As a scholar, respected publicist and public intellectual was awarded several national and international prizes. He is also the president of the Lithuanian Historical Science National Committee, the chairman of the board of the "Open Lithuania Foundation", a member of the board of the World Lithuanian Association, a member of the Lithuanian Historical Society and the Žemaičiai Cultural Society.

Lusine Kharatian is a Yerevan-based cultural anthropologist and fiction writer. She is a researcher at the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, National Academy of Sciences of Armenia, and the director of the Center for Continuing Education at Yerevan State University. In 2012-2018, Ms. Kharatyan headed DVV International (Institute for International Cooperation of German Adult Education Association) Armenia Country Office. In that capacity she was responsible for the implementation of several multi-phase and multi-component DVV-initiated Armenia-Turkey reconciliation projects involving oral history research and adult education. Her research, publication and practical work focus on memory, oral history, national minorities, reconciliation and conflict resolution, social/cultural impact of policy reforms, and civil society formation. Ms. Kharatyan holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the University of Minnesota (2004), General Diploma in Demography from Cairo Demographic Center (2000), and a Diploma with distinction from the History Department (majored in Ethnography) of Yerevan State University (1999). Since November 2018, Ms. Kharatyan represents Armenia in the Committee of Experts of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages of the Council of Europe. She is a member of PEN Armenia and Chair of its Women Writers Committee since 2021.

Other events in this series

Memory Politics in Contemporary Wars & Violent Conflicts, Wednesday 7 December

The Role of Museums in Managing Memories of Disputed Territories, Thursday 8 December