History is politics and politics is history – and we are all part of it, often in ways are not even aware of. And that is precisely the reason why we need to share it. Shared History is not about giving your own history up – but opening the act of history making to other perspectives, other voices than what is conventionally expected.
Shared History is a project that brings together newly arrived and established artist across the Baltic Sea region, a sea of (dis)-connections. Their views do not necessarily need to harmonise, but they have to relate to each other when exploring critical methods of storytelling in a time of polarised debates about history and identity. By providing a space for creative and critical dialogue for artists, writers and thinkers, Shared History aims to look at history and narration as a process of participation and interpretation rather than a set of fixed facts.
"Focusing these questions to a Nordic-Baltic perspective reveals the close relationship between various traditions or systems of making of history and their impact on our identities today."
Read more about the background and theories behind the Shared History project in this essay by Svante Helmbaek Tirén.
"The concept shared history means that two different entities share a certain part of history with each other."
"Acknowledging we are part of the same history although we might have different backgrounds, experiences or opinions is the starting point."
"This modern myth of multicultural Gdansk, although not entirely adequate for every historical period, has been welcome by Gdansk citizens helping them to bridge Gdansk's turbulent past with its present and the future."
To broaden the scope of possible ways to talk about the migration in the context of Latvia, the exhibition within the “Shared History” project in Riga is to be developed at the art museum “Riga Bourse”. It will be focusing on the idea of the territory of Latvia as a historically layered and multi-ethnic zone where different cultures have co-existed since centuries.
"Shared History is therefore also an honest attempt to approach these questions by challenging ourselves when translating it into practical terms."
The artists have put themselves in front of the camera to talk about experiences of being under pressure, questions about migration, privileges and responsibilities.
A film about the project from the Gdansk perspective, including documentaiton of the exhibition at St John's centre, the art productions, theatre performance and workshop.
The project concluded in Belgrade, with a sharing conversation about the notion of “the shared” in history and heritage; Cultural strategies for more inclusive historical consciousness