19 August 2023
War Memory, Public Space and Collective Identity
In the process of identity-building, key political actors and groups are involved in reconstructing the past. They all seek to articulate collective memory in a way that could be useful to legitimize power and for the purpose of identity formation. In this political process, Ashplant, Dawson and Roper (2000: 16-32) distinguish three key aspects of the struggle to articulate war memories: its narratives, arenas and agencies.
Whereas narratives of articulation refer to common intellectual formulations and discourses, arenas represent social-political spaces within which actors contain and promote claims for the recognition of their war memories. The last dimension, agencies, refers to those institutions, organizations or movements through which social actors seek to preserve recognition for their war memories. Thus, a memory of past events for every group has different connotations and thus will be differently manifested.
The course will outline each of these key concepts and undertake a literature review concerning the politics of identity and issues of collective memory, based on several case studies. The past and the way it is remembered, interpreted, and manifested plays a crucial role in the formation of collective identities.
The presence of collective memory, be it through narratives, oral histories, myths and public spaces, refers to common perceptions of the past, where societies aim to ensure continuity by linking the past, present and the future. Just as memory helps to shape individual belonging, collective memory serves to build and preserve a common identity. Hence, both types of memory are relational, and, in fact, individual memory is possible only in a social framework.
The renowned memory study scholar Aleida Assman goes even further in distinguishing four levels of memory: individual, social, political, and cultural. While individual and social memories are grounded in lived experience, political and cultural memories, on the other hand, are founded on symbolic and material representations as well as in education and collective participation (Assmann, 2006: 215).
Summer School as School is an interdisciplinary education and art collaboration model designed for BA, MA and PhD students, artists, architects and researchers of visual arts, humanities and social sciences, political theory, art history and curatorial studies, architecture and design, and anyone with a keen interest in the subject area.
At the conclusion of each course, participants will be issued a certificate stating their equivalency of The European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) credits from Stacion - Center for Contemporary Art Prishtina, Kosovo and the École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts de Lyon, France.
EUR 400: 400 euros for self-paying students, with the offer of accommodation in student residences.
EUR 600: 600 euros for institutionally sponsored students, with the offer of accommodation in student residences.
Special conditions apply for alumni of the Summer School as School.
Scholarships are available for students from Kosovo.