Future needs memories: Ukrainian dialogue on history and memories project
...everything is illuminated in the light of the past.
It is always along the side of us...on the inside, looking out.
― Jonathan Safran Foer
Meaning of the past
The past influences our lives. Sometimes it can help us better understand reality, and sometimes prevents us from understanding. We deal with the past while reading books and newspapers, while communicating and watching movies, we meet it in our memory. Often in conflicts different memories and different perceptions of the past lead to alienation and misunderstanding between the parties. At the same time, shared memories can bring people together, while exchange of different perceptions of the past may help to better understand each other.
History and the past are very important for self-understanding. What identities do I associate myself with and why? Which life experiences they relate to? What does it mean to be a Ukrainian, a woman or man, an activist, a professional, a father? At the Different Memories – Common Future! workshops on the methods of dialogue about the past in Lviv and Vinnytsia in late September/early October we want to deal with different identities, learn more about their origin and meaning based on personal experience, as well as different materials and records.
During the three-day workshop, together with our participants, we would like to explore different perceptions of the past and the way they form. We will consider public and individual displays of memory, try to deal with them in order to better understand ourselves as well as others. We are also going to talk about how to use memories and perceptions of the past to build dialogue between different groups of people.
The techniques are based on the methodologies of narrative interview, gestalt-pedagogy, and pedagogy of liberation. We rely on models and theory of the influence of memories and memory in general on conflicts, as well as years of experience in running dialogues.
This workshop will allow participants to learn dialogue methods for dealing with memories, so that thereafter they can use these methods in their activities all by themselves. After two-month implementation period, participants of both workshops will meet again. At the final meeting they will share experience gained and will be able to plan further activities in this field.
Andrea Zemskow-Züge — is a historian working for the Berghof Foundation Caucasus Programme. Since 2000 she is a facilitator and trainer in the fields of history, memories, and conflict resolution. From 2003 to 2005 she was guest lecturer of Oral history for the European University St. Petersburg. In her thesis and various articles she concentrated on the issues of World War II and stalinism, memory theories, and biographical methods for dealing with conflict situations.
Dana Jirous — is a political scientist. She completed her PhD studies on the role of memories in the Ingush-Ossetian conflict. Since 2005 she has been working as a project coordinator and trainer in the fields of history and memories, gender theories and approaches, as well as conflictology in the women’s NGO OWEN e.V., Berlin.
The Project events program schedule
- September 25-27, 2015: Workshop in Lviv
- September 29 - October 1, 2015: Workshop in Vinnytsia
- October-November, 2015: Practical activities of the workshops participants
- December 4-6, 2015: Final meeting of the project participants in Vinnytsia
OWEN e.V. – Mobile Academy for Gender Democracy and Peace Development, www.owen-berlin.de
Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations, which is active worldwide promoting peaceful and mutually enriching coexistence of people and cultures, www.ifa.de
The project is funded by the Foreign office of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Translation by Halyna Stasevych