Monday, June 05, 2006

Visions after the Fall :: Budapest, June 8 -11, 2006

Visions after the Fall: Museums, Archives, and Cinema in the reshaping of
popular perceptions of the socialist past

Open Society Archives Budapest :: June 8 - 11, 2006
Open Society Archives :: Central European University :: Budapest :: Hungary

The workshop will analyze the use of audio-visual material - including
archival footage, documentary and feature films, exhibition catalogues,
memorials, and other traces of historical remembrance - in the process of
'reshaping' the memory of the socialist past in Eastern Europe. The aim of
the workshop is to contribute to the understanding of the ways in which
historical revisionism uses both familiar and recently discovered
audio-visual material - from popular cinematographic imagery to previously
classified information. The principles of exhibiting these materials and
other ways of making them available to the broad public will be in the focus
of the workshop discussions.

I. Museums: Between Terror and 'Normalization'

The presenters at the panel will analyze different cases of recent
historical exhibitions which addressed the socialist past, introduced new
archival documents, drew attention to the sites of political repression, and
challenged the established socialist historiographies.

Scope of issues:

* Sites of terror turned into museums and exhibitions
* Representations of everyday socialism
* Commemorations of the transition: the roles of state museums in
transitional justice
* Multi-media presentations and the role of video material in
representing history

II. Archives: the source of the unique and unknown

The presenters at the panel will analyze the use of archival (especially
audio-visual) footage in recent historical research as well as in works
intended for the wider public, such as documentary and fiction films. The
panel will discuss the consequences in terms of expanded access to the
footage as well as methodological issues of its presentation to audiences
with different degrees of historical and audio-visual expertise.

Scope of issues:

* Emergence of previously classified material in (re)shaping the past
* East, West, elsewhere - Unification of sources
* The emergence of new political borders and the division of previously
shared heritage
* Educational role of the audio-visual material,
* The change in reading the material depending on the context and
audiences' competence

III. Cinema: shaping the public

The panel will analyze recent works of fiction and non-fiction addressing
the image of the socialist past, discussing whether inter-country
comparisons are meaningful when speaking about the socialist past in the

Scope of issues:

* Historical accounts presented to the mass audience: are there any
rules of the game?
* Private footage and home video in cinema: contrasting 'big' and
'small' histories
* Archival research in filmmaking and the role of experts
* Authenticity in creating historical accounts: modes and methods


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