Conference: Testimony. Commemoration. Wellbeing.

26.04.2018. | 10:00

The Center for Cultural Decontamination in Belgrade, the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Sarajevo, the Historical Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo and the Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory in Belgrade cordially invite you to the conference “Testimony. Commemoration. Wellbeing” on April 20 – 27. 2018 (April, 20-24. 2018 in Sarajevo and April 26-27. 2018 in Belgrade) as part of the project “Testimony – Truth or Politics: The Concept of Testimony in the Commemoration of the Yugoslav Wars”. This conference aims to democratize the historical narrative building in the region and to strengthen the inclusion of the Yugoslav Wars in the European remembrance practices.

Witnessing is a participative act, testifying is an act of speech with multiple addressees at once, at least those relating to the situation testified about, the situation of testifying and a self-address which constitutes multiple speakers. The simultaneity of time and space creates an ever changing assemblage of singular-plural social relations, intimate and political, at work long after the testimony has been given and renewed each time it is heard. The diversity of social relations at the base of testimony makes its relation to reality, both that experienced and that in which testimony is heard, complex. This trait makes it unstable for the purpose of the listener whose demand is for the Truth, i.e. a comprehensive meaning which would constitute the person testifying as Subject and/or as a generic Subject, also constituting both testifying and testified factual situations as Events.

Michel Foucault describes the role of institutions in which testimony takes place as follows: “The archive is first the law of what can be said, the system that governs the appearance of statements as unique events. But the archive is also that which determines that all these things said do not accumulate endlessly in an amorphous mass, nor are they inscribed in an unbroken linearity, nor do they disappear at the mercy of chance external accidents; but they are grouped together in distinct figures, composed together in accordance with multiple relations, maintained or blurred in accordance with specific regularities […]. It is that which defines the mode of occurrence of the statement-thing; it is the system of its functioning. Far from being that which unifies everything that has been said in the great confused murmur of a discourse, far from being only that which ensures that we exist in the midst of preserved discourse, it is that which differentiates discourses in their multiple existence and specifies them in their own duration.” (Archaeology of Knowledge 145-6).

Among the initial linguistic-theatrical settings of testimony are the court room and the legal system. They bind the speech act of testimony to the demand to provide evidence for factual truth and regulate the multiplicity of social relations at the base of testimony. By defining the witness as disinterested they dismiss the claim and demand that any speech act, including that of the witness, puts forth. In return for these restrictions the judicial system offers its idea of justice, even if justice is unattainable. However, is that all that is necessary? In the post- WWII period there was a rapidly growing use of the international judicial system to provide justice for the victims of human rights violations, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, with newly-coined terms such as transitional and restorative justice.

The conference will examine how different global ideological paradigms (human rights, Holocaust commemoration, conflict management, reconciliation, Marxism) and institutional regimes (local and international courts, NGOs, archives, state and private educational institutions) act as regulative measures to produce adequate testimonies. The main question which the conference focuses on is what are the settings in which the excess that testimony always already produces that can create a possibility for alternative social relations. These relations could then, in the context of the commemoration of Yugoslav wars in the 1990’s, allow for a common life and wellbeing.

Other project partners are: The Ignorant Schoolmaster and his Committees, Belgrade; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade; Boem, Vienna, Austria; Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso Transeuropa  (OBCT Transeuropa), Rovereto, Italy; Historical Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo; Centre for Cultural and Social Repair, Banja Luka; The Leibniz-Institute for East and Southeast European Studies, Regensburg, Germany.

Further information: http://svedocanstvo-imenovatitoratom.org/en/conferences

Contact person: Noa Treister: noa.treister@gmail.com


Conference program

20-24.04. at the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Sarajevo

26-27.04 Center for Cultural Decontamination/ Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, Belgrade

Friday 20.04.2018

Faculty of Philosophy in Sarajevo

Deanery, 1st floor, Room 82,

Franje Račkog 1

10:00 – 10:15 Opening remarks

10:15 – 12:30 Session I: Memory and Community

Cultures and politics of  memory in Bosnia and Hercegovina, Ljupka Mandić Kelijasević, Sociology Department, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Novi Sad, RS

Religion between Subjective Memory and “Licensed Recollection” From the Experience Of Ethnic Communities Of Bosnia And Herzegovina, Tomislav Tadić, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Sarajevo, BiH

Non-national culture of remembrance of war victims in Tuzla, Dino Šakanović, University of Tuzla, BiH

Discussion

12:30 – 13:00 Coffee break

13:00 – 14:30 Victims facing Perpetrators, Salih Fočo, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Sarajevo, BIH

14:30 – 15:30 lunch

15:30 – 18:00 Session II: Testimony and Sociality

Alternative Truth – Testimony in a “Truth Commission”, Jacqueline Nießer, Institute for East and South East European Studies Regensburg, DE

Internalizing Testimony and Intersubjective Action. Possibility of Corrective Social Activity and Social Factors? Vedad Muharemović, Faculty of Philosophy, Sociology Department, University of Sarajevo, BiH

Cultural Trauma as a Subject of Social Reproduction: The Case of Macedonia, Marija Dimitrovska, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University of Skopje, Faculty of Philosophy, Institute of Sociology, MAC

Discussion

Saturday 21.04.2018

Faculty of Philosophy in Sarajevo

Deanery, 1st floor, Room 82,

Franje Račkog 1

10:00-12:30 Session I: History and Memory

Manipulation of memory in /and out of/ literature, Edisa Gazetić, Department of Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian Language and Literature, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Zenica , BIH

Give ‘Excessive’ Antifascism a Chance: Countering Historical Revisionisms in the Post-2000 Yugoslav Space, Ana Dević, Catholic University Leuven – University of Leuven, BE/RS

Coinciding with ourselves, Smilja Janković, independent researcher, BiH

Discussion

12:30 – 13:00 Coffee break

13:00 – 14:30 Testimonies of Ongoing Violence in 21st Century Europe: Erri de Luca’s Contrarian Speech against the TAV, and She Drew the Gun’s Social Attrition, Cornelia Gräbner, Lancaster University, UK

14:30 – 15:30 lunch

15:30 – 18:00 Session II: Ghosts and Machines as Witnesses

Tackling the Ghost – the roots in blood for the concept of modern wellbeing, Ramiz Huremagić, criminologist and poet

”To hear the sound of machines again..” – DITA workers from a self-managed factory to factory occupation, Zoran Vuckovac, Graduate Center for the Study of Culture at the Justus Liebig University in Giessen, DE/BiH

What for do we testify? For what do we testify? What do we testify for?  – the setting of a social (relation) testimony archive – Bogdan Golubović, Darko Lazić, Noa Treister

Discussion

Sunday 22.04.2018

Tour of Sarajevo and the Historical Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina

 

Monday 23.04.2018

Faculty of Philosophy in Sarajevo

Deanery, 1st floor, Room 82,

Franje Račkog 1

10:00-12:30 Session I: Testimony and Mediation

Denial, mystification and political instrumentalization in the early 90s. The Romanian Case of the political rehabilitation of the Marshal Ion Antonescu and the denial of mass-murder policies and extermination sites. The case study of Iasi pogrom. Iulian Alexandru Muraru, “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University of Iaşi, RO

Mediated Testimonies of The Ujvidek Raid: Holocaust Or Not? Prof. Nevena Dakovic, Department of Theory and History, Faculty of Drama Art, University of Belgrade, RS

The Use of Symbols and Myths, Senadin Musabegovic, Head of the Department of History of Art at the Faculty of Philosophy in Sarajevo, BiH

Discussion

12:30 – 13:00 Coffee break

13:00 – 14:30 Memory and History, a tribute to Moses I Finley, Sylvian Lazarus, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology, University of Paris 8, FR

14:30 – 15:30 lunch

15:30 – 18:00 Session II: Experience as Literature and Performance

The Commemorated as an ideology, Djokica Jovanović, Department of Sociology, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade

From open experience to the closed Gestalt: Literature, stereotype and traumatic memory, Andrea Lešić-Thomas, Comparative Literature and Librarianship, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Sarajevo, BiH

The representation of war in the performing arts and its different forms of testimony, Darija Davidović, Department of Theatre, Film and Media Studies, University of Vienna, AU

Discussion

Tuesday 24.04.2018

Faculty of Philosophy in Sarajevo

Deanery, 1st floor, Room 82,

Franje Račkog 1

10:00-12:30 Session I: Mourning Past and Opening toward Future

Music for Hope: A Documentary History of Non-Violent, Musical Counterculture in the Bajo Lempa, El Salvador, 1970-2020. Andrew Redden, Latin American History – University of Liverpool, UK

Testimony and ‘Working through of the Past’, Peyman Amiri, Amsterdam School of Cultural Analysis, University of Amsterdam, Iran/NL

Post-socialist transformations and appropriations of the monument Korčanica, Mišo Kapetanović, Center for Advanced Studies of South East Europe, University of Rijeka, CR

Discussion

12:00 – 12:30 Coffee break

13:00 – 14:30 Remember the Future: Non-Violent Commemoration as Anticipation of a Common Life, Michael Eskin, Upper West Side Philosophers, Inc., USA

14:30 – 15:30 lunch

15:30 – 17:30 Session 2: Pedagogy and Production of the Social

The Kosovo War during 1998–1999 in the History Textbooks in Kosovo and Serbia, Shkëlzen Gashi, Independent researcher, Kosovo

Testimony of the Emergence of Capitalism in Yugoslavia: Phenomenology of the (pre)Domination of the Middle Class or Petty/ Bourgeoisie of Yugoslavia, Dragomir Olujić Oluja, Association ReEx, Political studies, journalist, Communist, Belgrade, RS

Discussion

Wednesday 25.04.2018

Travel to Belgrade

Thursday 26.04.2018

Center for Cultural Decontamination, upper hall

Bircaninova 21, Belgrade

Lectures I: Testimony and Well Being

10:00 – 10:45 Remember the Future: Non-Violent Commemoration as Anticipation of a Common Life, Michael Eskin, Upper West Side Philosophers, Inc., USA

10:45-11:30 Tuning In, Tuning Out and Tuning Past: Testimony and Resonance in Tom McCarthy’s “Satin Island” and Erri De Luca’s “Crime of a Soldier”, Cornelia Gräbner, Lancaster University, UK

11:30 -12:15 Denial, mystification and political instrumentalization in the early 90s. The Romanian Case of the political rehabilitation of the Marshal Ion Antonescu and the denial of mass-murder pollicises and extermination sites. The case study of Iasi pogrom. Iulian Alexandru MURARU, “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University of Iaşi, RO

12:15 – 12:45 coffee break

14:15 – 15:15 lunch

Lectures II: Commemoration and Production of the Social

15:15 – 16:00 Alternative Truth – Testimony in a “Truth Commission”, Jacqueline Nießer, Institute for East and South East European Studies Regensburg, DE

16:00 – 16:45 ”To hear the sound of machines again…” – DITA workers from a self-managed factory to factory occupation, Zoran Vuckovac, Graduate Center for the Study of Culture at the Justus Liebig University in Giessen, DE/BiH,

16:45 – 17:30 Testimony of the Emergence of Capitalism in Yugoslavia: Phenomenology of the (pre)Domination of the Middle Class or Petty/ Bourgeoisie of Yugoslavia, Dragomir Olujić Oluja, Association ReEx, Political studies, journalist, Communist, Belgrade, RS

17:30 – 19:00 Coffee break

19:00 special guest lecture: Testimony, Democracy, and the Futures of the Humanities, Sara Guyer, President, Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes, Director of the Center for the Humanities, University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Cultural Decontamination, Bircaninova 21, Belgrade

Friday 27.04.2018

The Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, 1st Floor

Kraljice Natalije 45, Belgrade

 

Lectures I: The Future of Commemoration

10:00 – 10:45 Music for Hope: A Documentary History of Non-Violent, Musical Counterculture in the Bajo Lempa, El Salvador, 1970-2020. Andrew Redden, Latin American History, University of Liverpool, UK

10:45-11:30 Manipulation of memory in /and out of/ literature Edisa Gazetić, Department of Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian Language and Literature, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Zenica , BIH

11:30 -12:15 Testimony and ‘Working through of the Past’, Peyman Amiri, Amsterdam School of Cultural Analysis, University of Amsterdam, Iran/NL

12:15 – 12:45 coffee break

12:45 – 14:15 The Use of Symbols and Myths, Senadin Musabegovic, Head of the Department of History of Art at the Faculty of Philosophy in Sarajevo, BiH

14:15 – 15:15 lunch

Lectures II: Pedagogy and Revisionism

 

15:15 – 16:00 World War II Women Bear Witness: Testimonies of Croatian Intellectuals in the Diary Discourse, Marijana Kardum, Modern and Contemporary History, University of Zagreb, CR

16:00 – 16:45 The Kosovo War during 1998–1999 in the History Textbooks in Kosovo and Serbia, Shkëlzen Gashi, Independent researcher, Kosovo

16:45 – 17:30 Give ‘Excessive’ Antifascism a Chance: Countering Historical Revisionisms in the Post-2000 Yugoslav Space, Ana Dević, Catholic University Leuven – University of Leuven, BE/RS

20:00 – Special event: The Victress of Belgrade, poetry performance, Ramiz Huremagić

Center for Cultural Decontamination, Bircaninova 21, Belgrade

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