Explorative converstaions

- The notion of “the shared” in history and heritage; Cultural strategies for more inclusive historical consciousness
19.11.2018., 14-16:30h at Cultural Center Magacin, Kraljevića Marka 4
Coffee and short film screening from 13.30.
Films by Ania Domanska, Vanja Sandell Billström/Reza Hazare and Ibrahim Muhanna.

This meeting is dedicated to putting the topics explored in the Shared History project in a new geopolitical context, to share ideas and experiences and explore new notions of "shared history".

The more heritage and history are being used as divisive forces in diverse countries and regions across the world, the more prominent is the desire to conceptualize and account for the “inclusive”, “shared”, ”joined” and “common” heritage and history. Implicitly, both heritage and history have always been conceived and imposed as shared for a particular social group or society. However, as the hegemony of the national history and heritage as shared is being contested both internationally and locally, the notion of shared history and heritage that transgresses the nation state is being voiced out explicitly. The ambitions of such concept are striving to simultaneously become a supplement for the universalist cosmopolitan discourses, go beyond the exclusive national identity politics and transgress the radical fragmentation of historic experiences. Numerous policy documents, projects and programs testify of this desire, a desire and agenda that has influenced the work of numerous activists, researchers, historians, artists and curators in the Balkans following the dissolution of SFR Yugoslavia. At the same time, similar processes of commonising identity through heritage and history is going on the EU level, where the counter-balance for political and economic crises is being increasingly sought in notions of common European heritage and identity.

One of these attempts is the “Shared History” project that focuses on possibilities of opening the act of history in the Baltic region by critically including historical perspectives beyond the hegemonic frameworks of national history, especially regarding the multicultural societies that are connected to migration and refugees. “Shared History” is an artistic project growing from the presumption that history is politics and politics is history – and we are all part of it, often in ways we are not even aware of. The project intentionally approached the many relations and interpretations of the terminology ‘History’ within the Baltic Sea region, with diverse curatorial and artistic outcomes in Stockholm, Riga and Gdansk and the project partners would like to take these initial explorations a step further.

The explorative conversations in Belgrade organised by Europa Nostra Serbia, Färgfabriken from Stockholm, Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art from Riga and The Baltic Sea Cultural Centre from Gdansk is an attempt to map, discuss and explore diverse ways of conceptualizing the shared in history and heritage, as well as diverse approaches of working with the notions of shared history and heritage in research, curatorial and artistic practice. Through this conversation we are curious to hear diverse understandings and experiences of what it means and implies to add ‘Shared’ to words such as History or Heritage, and what it means to work towards more inclusive historical consciousness. Which new identities and social boundaries get articulated through these acts? How the idea of shared regional heritage and history can incorporate or address pluralisms and conflicts? How these get formulated in the Baltic Sea region and the Balkan region and what are the (im)possibilities of regional history and heritage? How historical, museological and artistic discourses and practices conceptualize and work with the notion of shared heritage and history?

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