STRATEGIES FOR DEALING WITH THE PAST (10-14 October 2007)

A 5 days’ experimental intercultural memories workshop in Bela Rechka. 15 scholars, cultural activists and artists from Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Romania, Turkey, Poland, Germany and US gathered to discussed various cases in different countries, compared each other experience from ‘the totalitarian regime’, discussed personal stories and strategies for the future, visited the “Stalin” restaurant and the Klisura Monastery, experimented with local food, musical improvisations, dances and others. Some of the presented topics and cases were:

  • Counter-images about the past in the music and the films in GDR by Alexander Pehlemann and Claus Löser, Germany;
  • Artistic and Curatorial Practices of Facing the Ghosts of the Past in Post-Communist Europe (museums, exhibitions, narratives, approaches) by Svetla Kazalarska;
  • Wirtschaftswerte (Economic values) by Joseph Beuys as an art work;
  • The Turkish case – the military coup in 1980 and the impact on society and art – Zeki Coskun, Adem Murat Yilmam;
  • New culture places of memory – Sejny, Poland, Bela Rechka, Bulgaria – Krzysztof Czyzewski, Diana Ivanova.

The following questions were raised and discussed:

Who we are and why we are here?

Was it a ‘privilege’ to live in a totalitarian system?

What does it mean to have a personal totalitarian experience?

What strategies do we use by ourselves to ‘deal with the past’?

What kind of expression do we use in our own language to say ‘dealing with the past’?

Is there a ‘common’ totalitarian experience between us?

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