Accessing Campscapes: Inclusive Strategies for Using European Conflicted Heritage (iC-Access): [including: Top 3 Outputs]

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingChapterAcademic

Abstract

iC-ACCESS was envisaged as a research project meant to offer new insights to interpret, evaluate and present the cultural dynamics of former camps transformed into “heritagescapes” and notable European spaces of contestation. Consequently, the project approached campscapes across Europe: Westerbork (The Netherlands), Treblinka (Poland), Falstad (Norway), Jasenovac (Croatia/Republika Srpska), Bergen-Belsen (Germany), Lety (Czech Republic), and the former uranium Gulag labour camps in the Jáchymov region (Czech Republic). Since “difficult heritage” and painful pasts are increasingly (re)used as memorials and memory sites, their developments, appropriations or silencing, and political and cultural framing are of crucial importance to understand the wider, national and transnational dynamics of memory in which these spaces nowadays have become more or less accessible, accepted or contested. The project provided an interdisciplinary attempt to re-think how we present, interpret and acknowledge conflicted pasts and to understand how their meanings are perpetually used, misused and abused. It was an eminently memory-oriented project, which attempts to respond to the wide employment of memory discourses in the general public sphere with a critical eye on its many historical, cultural and political implications. The approach of the project was that of “competing memories”, as an umbrella terms which speaks about coexisting and opposing processes of commemoration and ‘heritagization’ as well as of forgetting and silences. To meet the objectives of the project, iC-ACCESS was divided into five thematic work packages, supported by additional projects and dissemination activities with help of companies like Scanlab (UCL, UK), 4DLab (UvA, NL), Spinlab (VUA, NL), Calibro (Milan, It): Analysing Competing Narratives of Campscapes in European Context; Online Testimonies Archive of Campscapes; Uncovering Traces and Materiality of Campsites; Mapping Campscapes in Spatial Context; Inclusive Revisualisation Strategies in a Digital Age. Each WP had specific tasks and milestones which contributed towards the project’s aim of developing inclusive strategies for mapping, preserving and accessing iconic but conflicted, dissonant, and sometimes "forgotten" heritage.
The project has created novel interventions around competing memories, and more importantly untangled the relevance of camps as a space of heritage and of public dispute. Many of the project’s interventions featured prominently as a beginning of public debate and in mass media. So, for instance, in Lety the project not only contributed to the change in the memorial site, but also opened a wider debate about the meanings of the forgetting of the Roma Holocaust in European debates, which is tied in equally with the silencing of the Roma plight during socialism, their social exclusion at the time and after 1989 with the
politics of social othering. In Jasenovac, the “revisionist” and politicization of the site has been a feature ever since the end of the Second World War, and the interventions of the project made not only this conflictual history of memory known (from Tito to nationalism today) but also reflected on the overlap of these today. The impact of the project has thus been substantial in the interdisciplinary research, the integrative spatial/digital/discursive display, and the new, transnational accessibility of the sites.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUses of the Past
Subtitle of host publication(Final Brochure)
Place of PublicationBallsbridge, Ireland
PublisherHERA
Pages2-3
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2020

Publication series

NameHERA JRP
PublisherHERA

Keywords

  • HERA Uses of the Past
  • iC-ACCESS
  • Horizon 2020
  • Accessing Campscapes
  • European Heritage
  • Terrorscapes

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