The Why Remember Conference 2022 will address the complex and contested questions that face post conflict societies, of what should we remember, what should we forget, and, ultimately, why? It will explore the role of publicly visible memory and its potential impact on issues such as reconciliation and healing in the wake of conflict, and how could and should (consciously and unconsciously) memory processes shape the present and future. These questions of memory (and forgetting) are intensely political and have far-reaching consequences and these debates are vital to institutions of cultural memory that engage with the past in order to make sense of the present and build towards a more peaceful future.
A key theme for this year’s conference is: how museums and other cultural institutions can deal with the past? What is the role, if any, of such institutions in making sense of contested pasts and narratives as a part of peacebuilding and conflict prevention? The conference will seek to facilitate connections with academics and other relevant stakeholders engaged in mobilising arts, heritage and social institutions in the field of peacebuilding, conflict and cultural discourse, bringing together academics and practitioners who work on post-conflict societies, as well as organisations and practitioners in countries that have recently experienced armed conflict or genocide. The conference will explore the role of museums and memory sites that deal with memory, culture and conflict, and ask broadly how can they more effectively promote tolerance, resilience, inter-group and inter-ethnic cooperation? Therefore, the conference is calling for papers that deal with a number of sub-questions, such as what is a museum’s responsibility in the formation and maintenance of cultural memory?’ Which strategies for public engagement work and which do not? How might curatorial, architectural and design strategies promote peace? What is the role of art and artists in a museum/site of memory context in contributing to peacebuilding processes? How can youth be actively involved in peacebuilding through engagement with museums/sites of memory?
In addition to his specific theme for 2022, we seek papers from a wide range of cultural, historical and geographical spaces that address the discursive limits of contemporary memory studies, particularly drawing on these areas:
• Film/Media/Cultural Studies
• Comparative Literature/Narrative/Fiction/Non-Fiction/Poetry
• Museum Studies/New Materialism
• Visual Arts including Photography
• Arts/Performing Arts/Theater
**Inter/Trans disciplinary approaches are especially encouraged.
We welcome abstract submissions from early career researchers and post-docs, as well as established scholars. We encourage applications from a range of academics including current PhD students, and particularly from those outside Western European institutions. All papers will be delivered in English. Paper proposals for a 20-minute presentation should include author name(s), affiliation(s), paper title, a paper abstract (300 words max), and short bio (200 words max).
This academic conference takes place at the same time as the WARM festival, which takes place in Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina each summer, and is “dedicated to war reporting, war art and war memory.” WARM brings together people – journalists, artists, historians, researchers, activists – with a common passion for ‘telling the story with excellence and integrity’.” See this link for more information: http://www.warmfoundation.org
The conference will be a dual site event hosted at the Historical Museum of Bosnia Herzegovina (Sarajevo) and at the Srebrenica Memorial Centre (Srebrenica). Travel to the Memorial centre will be included in the registration fee.
Keynote speakers include Emir Suljagić Director of the Srebrenica Memorial Centre and author of Postcards from the Grave (2005).
Wednesday July 6th
19.00 Evening opening Keynote followed by drinks reception and open evening at the Historical Museum
Thursday July 7th
10.00- 17.00 Conference proceedings at the Historical Museum
19.00 Conference dinner (extra charge)
Friday July 8th
08.00- 20.00 Conference proceedings at the Srebrenica Memorial Centre including keynote by the Director, Emir Suljagić and tour of the memorial site.
Registration cost: In person 150 Euros, Online 50 Euros. Concessionary rates of 50 Euros/0 Euros respectively are available for all graduate students, for faculty applying from non-EU/US institutions, and for those who can present a case for a reduction in fees. We can also waive the conference fee for a number of attendees, based on need. We will also have a limited number of travel bursaries for participants from the majority world. Information about hostels and hotels will be provided for participants upon acceptance and on our website.
Please submit your proposals no later than April 15th at 17.00 GMT to firstname.lastname@example.org
Acceptance decisions will be made by before the 30th of April and all applicants will be contacted.
The conference is organised by the Photography and the Archive Research Centre, London College of Communication, University of the Arts London, and is an event of the Peace and Conflict Cultural Network funded by the AHRC.
Please contact email@example.com with any queries.