Cultures of Remembrance exhibition

Exploring diverse narratives on National Socialism and World War II

The online exhibition “Cultures of Remembrance” consists of exhibits that deal with the different narratives and questions regarding remembering the Second World War and National Socialism. The works include the perspectives and narratives of Sinti*zze and Rom*nja, Jewish, BIPOC, Disabled and Queer people.

The exhibition aims to show not only different perspectives, methodologies and approaches towards remembrance work but also open an open space for dialogue.

The formats of the exhibits are diverse: soundscapes, art works, interactive maps, games, brochures, comics, etc. along with physical and artistic exhibits. The artists are working with different narratives connected to Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, Israel, Georgia, Bulgaria and Germany. Together they ask: How is transnational remembrance possible? The languages of the exhibits vary between English, Russian, Romani and German, for every exhibit there is an English translation.

The exhibition aims to create visibility to perspectives that are underrepresented within remembrance work and education, but also tries to open up for continuities and understanding of history repeating in totalitarian regimes and tries to encounter parallels to recent fights.

When the exhibition took place in Berlin, it had been accompanied  by Workshops, Performances and Guided Tours. Some of the results we will also share online.

“Cultures of Remembrance” originated as an initiative by non-hierarchical groups from Belarus, Ukraine, Russia, and Germany. The project’s primary objective was to critically examine how the memory of World War II, National Socialism, and resistance against it varies across different European regions. Additionally, it sought to develop alternative approaches to remembrance work, especially in engaging young people.

The project embarked on a remarkable journey, organizing four educational trips to Ukraine, Russia, Greece, and Georgia. These trips were central in the project’s development, offering unique insights into various narratives and questions concerning the remembrance of the Second World War in Europe.

At its inception, the project grappled with questions such as “How to conduct remembrance work that doesn’t support national competition?” and “How to engage young people?”. To address these questions, the project held its first meetings of activists and interested individuals in Russia and Ukraine in 2021.

The ideas and inspirations that emerged during these initial encounters led to the creation of a multimedia website and the development of a brochure that outlined methods for conducting commemorative work with young people.

One of the most significant outcomes of the project was the formation of a network of individuals who continued to support each other even amidst the full-scale escalation of conflict. This network collectively explored how historical narratives were employed to justify the ongoing war.

In 2022, the project organized a gathering in Greece after the outbreak of the war. This event emphasized emotional support while recognizing the urgent need to learn from historical moments of imminent danger and critically question prevailing historical narratives. The contributions of participants, generated alongside these encounters, nurtured the concept of an exhibition.

The idea behind the exhibition and our most recent trip to Georgia 2023 was to counter the nationalist memorial narratives with approaches from self-organized marginalized groups. This theme further underscored the project’s commitment to reimagining remebrance work by incorporating the voices and experiences of still underrepresented and marginalized communities.

The project is driven by the love and work of artists, activists and friends and initiated by Educat e.V. A collective for power critical and diversity conscious education, working from Dresden and Berlin.

Exhibits

Comic Corner

“A German journalist once asked me: a comic about Auschwitz – isn’t that terribly tasteless? My answer was no. I think Auschwitz was terribly tasteless.” Art Spiegelman

Denkmalverdacht

A Collaborative Inventory
Die Exponauten, Berlin in cooperation with FHXB Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg Museum and Jugendkunstschule FRI-X BERG

The right to a life of one’s own

The podcast was created as part of the social work degree programme. Focusing on the attitude of social workers, it accompanies an inclusive workshop with participants with and without cognitive impairments on “Aktion T4”. The term refers to the systematic extermination of people with disabilities during National Socialism.
Sandra Merseburger

Deadly times diaries

Interactive map of Leningrad during the siege from September 1941 to April 1942
Ivan Gutorov, Alexandr Mezhov, Maryia Aksiuchyts

Letters to Berlin

Kai* Brust, Hani חאני Esther Indictor Portner

Bitter truth – Горчива истина

“Bitter truth” explores Bulgarian reality in which denial (Oпровержение) is common when it comes to cultural remembrance.
Donka Kioseva, Liana Georgi, Sareh Oveysi

Brest Stories Guide

A series of documentary audio performances in the city space. A history told by the Brest citizens
Aksana Haiko, Andrey Bogdanov, Sviatlana Gaidalionak, Dmitry Martynyuk, Dmitry Dudko, Video: Valter Tsurkan, Eugene Hlushan

Georgia. Recording in Progress

A Memory of Georgia in audio and graphic recordings – you are invited to take a stroll through the streets and histories of Tbilisi with participants of the Bridges of Remembrance project in October 2023.
Hanna Launikovich, Paula Mittrowann, Bradley Williams Cohen

How do you remember?

Tools and methods to talk about the Second World War with young people
Educat Collective

House of Remembrance

Installation of canvases from the art workshop of Lebenshilfe Berlin
The Art Workshop of Lebenshilfe Berlin

Memory of war: pride or sorrow?

Associations map as a reflection of collective trauma
Anonymous group of activists

Where memory gathers bones*

Traces of forced labor from Mercedes-Benz in Ludwigsfelde
Marlene Pardeller, Dominique Hurth

Correspondences (2023)

Our collaborative work Correspondences reflects on the Bridges of Remembrance trip to Georgia in the form of a letter. In the letters we weave together memories and thoughts of our mutual interest in memory, reflections on the Bridges of Remembrance and artistic friendship.
Linda Jiayun Gao-Lenders, Janis Jirotka

Yom HaShoah*

The exhibition entry showcases the memorial ceremony on the eve of the commemorative day at the kibbutz, where Zvi, as the last living Holocaust survivor in Ma’abarot, lights the candles.
Richard Haufe-Ahmels

Deadly Times Diaries Map

Film t4

Filmed and processed by o.film

Memory is an animal which barks with various mouths

The film aims to unveil the hidden personal memories of individuals and families during WWII in russia, exposing governmental manipulation and mainstream narratives, to bridge generational gaps in how we remember and which historical events stay in our collective consciousness
Jeanna Kolesova

Remembering Käte

Visibility for trans victims of National Socialism
Kai* Brust

The Unrelenting (2014-2023)

Affirming both our valuable place in this community and our unrelenting accountability to each other through reclaiming the black triangle symbol
Elizabeth Sweeney

Workshops

Remembering Käte – visibility for trans victims of national socialism

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ROSA SHAKUR band music performance with the poetry from Berena Yogarajah

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How does memory work?

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Images in the Mind – Printing Workshop on the Topic of Memory

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Invitation to an Inclusive Guided Tour at the Topography of Terror

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Persecuted and not remembered – queer-lesbian remembrance after 1945

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How to communicate about the right not to fight

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zurückERZÄHLT decolonial audiowalk

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Reminiscences

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remembrance@educat-kollektiv.org

© 2023 Cultures of Remembrance