[spectre] CFP: War, Revolution and Memory: Post-War Monuments in Post-Communist Europe (Zagreb, 17-18 Feb 17)

Andreas Broeckmann ab at mikro.in-berlin.de
Fri Oct 7 09:20:01 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
International Conference

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 former system.

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 heritage?

These questions will be discussed at an international conference in the 
following sessions:

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 aesthetic 

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 tourism

- 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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