The next event of the partner project Contested Histories Onsite will take us to Estonia, to analyse the Bronze Soldier of Tallinn. This statue has been chosen for its representation of conflicting World War II narratives of liberation vs. occupation by the Red Army – a mnemonic dispute extending beyond the Baltics to much of Central and Eastern Europe.
Dr Karsten Brüggemann, a historian at Tallinn University specialised in contemporary Estonian history, will give a lecture on the historical background of the so-called ‘Bronze Nights’ and the memory conflict that surrounded the monument from its establishment up until 2007. His lecture will further outline the commemoration practices during the Soviet period, to explain what happened to the site after 1991 within the broader field of the ‘war of monuments’ within Estonia and how the events of 2007 have had lasting consequences on the establishment of ‘pure’ Estonian places of commemoration.
Dr Mare Oja, lecturer of History and History Didactics at Tallinn University, and Dr Linda Kaljundi, professor at the Estonian Academy of Arts, will offer an interactive workshop focused on introducing and discussing the different perspectives on the Bronze Soldier monument that explores the dynamics of this contested site of memory. They will further illustrate the potential of contemporary art as a medium for memory debates and raise the broader question of how to deal with such contested memory sites in history teaching.
Recordings of the event will be made available below in the coming weeks. You can already register for the event, to take place on October 14, at 15.00 CEST/UTC+2, here.