New challenges for post-communist remembrance cultures: Interdisciplinary perspectives in transitional justice

Lead Research Organisation: Loughborough University
Department Name: Communication and Media

Abstract

The proposed network addresses academic and practitioner debates in the field of transitional justice related to how the controversial history of communism is remembered Central and Eastern Europe. It brings together scholars, practitioners, and members of the public, to discuss how, the often-separate intellectual pursuits of humanities scholars and professionals in the area of transitional justice, can be brought in closer contact and communication. It also explores a key challenge in transitional justice: how to bridge, and how to address, the pressing generational gap in perceptions of communism, especially the perceptions and understandings of a new generation of young people, that are bringing about a host of new challenges, as well as opportunities, for taking the legacy of communism into public consciousness.

Planned Impact

The key aim of the network is to offer academics, practitioners, and members of the public a shared intellectual platform for addressing some of the key challenges in European transitional justice. The network aims to achieve public impact through partnership or collaboration with non-academic (Polish Institute of National Remembrance, Poland; Sighet Museum and Memorial, Romania; Loughborough University Arts) and academic partners (Imre Kertesz institute, Germany) with a track record of public impact and good practice.

The network delivers public impact in three key areas:
1) Enhancing the political participation of young people by innovating in the area of transitional justice practices
Activity: Co-designing and promoting, with the collaboration of The Polish Institute of National Remembrance, of an active citizenship and advocacy digital portfolio and a facilitator's toolkit that fills a substantive gap in active participatory approaches in transitional justice. The portfolio will actively promote youth empowerment and education by enhancing young people's historical literacy and transferable skills for advocacy. The key upshot of this type of impact activity is to offer transferable insights that will help researchers, practitioners, and educators, reflect upon and subsequently improve the afterlife of transitional justice practices by suggesting new creative, digital, alternatives to established, traditional, practices based on archives, commemorations, media collections, exhibitions and oral histories.
2) Enhancing the awareness, knowledge and skills of public and third sector organizations, and of members of the public, by facilitating dialogue and deliberation around educational challenges in transitional justice.
Activities:
a) Deliberative workshops, 'citizen juries', organized by the Sighet Museum (Romania) with members of the public/museum visitors on the shape and content of the national curriculum around the history/legacy of communism, and visitor perspectives on local, national and pan-European history of suffering under communism.
b) Presentations by artists commissioned by Loughborough University Arts, a panel discussion and a presentation of artists' work in the Martin Hall gallery at Loughborough University on social transformations, memory, temporality, witnessing, activism and memory to coincide with the international conference.

3) Providing fresh perspectives to support wider engagement and community-led foundation to public policies in uncertain political times

Activity: A workshop/roundtable organized by the Imre Kertesz Institute that gives members of the public and practitioners a meaningful platform for debating and contributing to debates on transitional measures and practices.

With the support of partner and collaborator organizations, the network will produce, and promote, educational material that will feed into the national curriculum (where one exists) and the creation of a national curriculum (where one does not exist), as well as debates around curating controversial pasts.
By addressing impact by involving non-academic partners the network will benefit not only academics, but also policymakers, journalists, museum curators, human rights activists, lawyers and legal scholars, local and national authorities, professionals working in NGOs.
The establishment of the network will help Loughborough University develop as a major international collaboration hub research and collaboration in cross- and trans-disciplinary approaches in transitional justice. UK-based research and researchers will be given maximum visibility and influence at the forefront of debates in this enduring, crucial, area of public, political and policy concern.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description Project partners Jena 
Organisation Friedrich Schiller University Jena (FSU)
Department Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution academic expertise in transitional justice
Collaborator Contribution Together with the Gedenk- und Bildungssstätte Andreasstraße, Erfurt, the Imre Kertesz Kolleg has co-organised a roundtable on "New challenges to the work of Memorial Museums in comparative perspective" (13 May 2019)
Impact Multidisciplinary roundtable on "New challenges to the work of Memorial Museums in comparative perspective" Roundtable participants: representatives of the Imre Kertész Kolleg, Institute of National Remembrance (Warsaw, Poland), Memorial Centre Andreasstraße (Erfurt, Germany), representative of Bundesstiftung zur Aufarbeitung der SED Diktatur (Berlin, Germany), repräsentative of Gedenkstätte Buchenwald (Germany), and a number of history PhD students at the University of Jena.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Project partners Sighet 
Organisation Sighet Memorial Museum
Country Romania 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Academic expertise in transitional justice
Collaborator Contribution Organised 'citizen juries' on the shape and content of the national curriculum around the history/legacy of communism.
Impact 'Citizen juries' on the shape and content of the national curriculum around the history/legacy of communism.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Citizen juries Sighet 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Deliberative workshops with members of the public and professional practitioners and educators.
Findings from these workshops will feed into debates on the history of communism in the national curriculum as well as debates around curating controversial pasts.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Gedenk- und Bildungssstätte Andreasstraße, Erfurt Roundtable 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A roundtable on "New challenges to the work of Memorial Museums in comparative perspective" co-organised by Imre Kertesz Kolleg, Jena and Gedenk- und Bildungssstätte Andreasstraße, Erfurt with representatives of memorial museums from Germany and Poland.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description St Francis Xavier University workshop "Conceptions of justice in political science and history" 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact A workshop on "Conceptions of justice in political science and history" organised by the Dept of Political Science at St Francis Xavier University (28 Oct 2019)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019