Königlich Dänische Botschaft - Veranstaltungen

Symposium: Memory and politics – new currents in memorials today

Datum und Uhrzeit

Dienstag 19. Juni 2018 von 10:00 Uhr bis 16:00 Uhr


Montag 18. Juni 2018 um 18:00 Uhr


Kgl. Dänische Botschaft
Rauchstr. 1
10787 Berlin


Königlich Dänische Botschaft - Veranstaltungen
+49 (0)30 5050 2202

The Danish Agency for Culture and Palaces and The Royal Danish Embassy kindly invite you to a symposium on memorials and the culture of remembrance in Europe. The symposium is part of the program of the European Cultural Heritage Summit 2018.

Through presentations of current perspectives on and examples of memorials, monuments and other sites of remembrance in mainly Denmark and Germany, the symposium will explore the meaning and relevance of memorials and monuments today. Experts and artists will investigate the development over the course of time, reflecting the use of as well as the various layers of memory represented in memorials and monuments from historical, art historical, artistic, urban planning and political angles.

What constitutes a memorial and what defines memory? What is the relevance of memorials today? And how can memorials be revitalized and reinterpreted in a contemporary context? To discuss these topics, we have invited researchers, museum-directors and artists.

The symposium is part of a new strategic focus on Germany within cultural exchange as well as the European Cultural Heritage Summit 2018 and is opened by the Danish Minister for Culture, Mette Bock.

The language of the symposium is English.

The symposium is arranged in collaboration with KØS – museum of art in public spaces and the Federal Foundation for the Study of the Communist Dictatorship in East Germany.

Participation in the symposium is free.

Scroll down for full program details!

For further questions:

Birgitte Tovborg Jensen| Cultural Attaché | Royal Danish Embassy Berlin | bitoje@um.dk

Krestina Skirl |Special Advisor Museums | Danish Arts Council | kre@slks.dk

Memory and politics – new currents in memorials today


9.30 – 10.00:    Coffee and registration

10.00 – 10.30:  Welcome

10.00-10.15: Minister for Culture Mette Bock.

10.15- 10.30: Dr Uwe Koch, Head of office at the German National Committee for the protection of monuments at the Federal Commissioner of Culture and the Media.

10.30-12.00:    Memory and memorials:

10.30-10.55       Monuments as contested heritage

Monuments are symbolic in their nature, which can become problematic when fundamental political changes occur. This is highly visible in the Danish-German borderland. The integration of the whole duchy of Schleswig into Prussia 1864/67, the 1920-referendum resulting in an integration of the northern half into Denmark and the sentiments after 1945 all meant removals or destructions of monuments on one hand and strong efforts to represent new, ruling views on the other. The speaker will address all these themes as well as more recent discussions about what to do with monuments of former times. One monument, the Isted Lion, is a symbol of these discussions and will function as a prominent example.

Director Carsten Porskrog Rasmussen, Sønderborg Castle.

10.55-11.20 Difficult legacies, different memories - Memorials after the regime change in Germany

The presentation reflects on the memory debates in Germany after the reunification in 1990. Based on the new standards of coming to terms with the Nazi past, the critical reappraisal (Aufarbeitung) of the communist dictatorship in East Germany became an important issue and a major challenge. Focusing on the debates about the memorials of Marx, Lenin, and Thälmann, the presentation discusses the practices to deal with the legacies of the communist regime in the public space and the difficulties to erect a new memorial for unity and freedom in Berlin and Leipzig.

Speaker: Project Coordinator Katharina Hochmuth, Federal Foundation for the Study of the Communist Dictatorship in East Germany.

11.20-11.45 Soft Power: Contemporary artistic reinterpretations of the classical memorial

In recent years contemporary art has reclaimed and reinterpreted the artistic genre of the classical memorial in both critical and playful ways. Focusing on ground-breaking works of art from the last two decades the presentation will discuss how contemporary art today revitalizes and reconciliates representations of the national state, memory and public engagement.

Speaker: Director Ulrikke Neergaard, KØS Museum of Art in Public Spaces, Denmark.

11.45-12.00 Questions for the 3 presentations

12.00-13.00:    Lunch

13.00-14.45:    Significant issues within memorials today:

13.00-13.30 Interpretations of the Berlin Wall

The Berlin Wall was never intended to be a memorial, but became one with the collapse of the communist regime. Since 1989 the views and interpretations of the Berlin Wall and the remains have differed and changed both in Berlin and internationally. The speaker will address how preserving the authentic remnants might have been done differently today.

Speaker: Curator of Collections Dr Manfred Wichmann, The Berlin Wall Foundation.

13.30-14.00 An interview about art in public spaces as political manifestations

On account of Sharing Heritage – European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018, the Danish visual artist Jens Haaning has been invited to draw up an artistic contribution for Siegessäule. At the symposium, he will present his vision on this contribution, which is a “Proposal for Recontextualisation of Siegessäule”, and discuss how the rethinking of the context of a war monument at the same time can be a rethinking of the discursive context of our shared history. The specific proposal for Siegessäule, which has yet to be realised, is put into perspective by former artworks and projects from the international career of Jens Haaning. Artworks and projects which revolve around political and social mechanisms and stage strong symbols that respond to our national self-consciousness.

The presenter interviews the artist Jens Haaning.

14.00-14.30 Programming remembrance: Towards a national memorial at Utøya

In May this year, a team was selected to lead the design process for a national memorial to the 22 July 2011 terror attack, which will be localised near Utøya. The speaker will address some of the challenges for the first project and the selected proposal ‘Memory Wound’ by artist Jonas Dahlberg – a proposal that was not realised. Against that background, the speaker will reflect over the form of the call for the second project, for which a team rather than a memorial proposal has been selected, and discuss what such a setup could mean for a memorial design process.

Speaker: Mattias Ekman, University of Oslo and member of team to design 22 July memorial at Utøya.

14.30-14.45 Questions for the 3 presentations

14.45-15.05:    Coffee break

15.05 – 16.00: Panel debate

  • Director Carsten Porskrog, Sønderborg Castle
  • Markus Meckel, Foreign minister, ret., Berlin and chairman of the board of trustees at the Federal Foundation for the Study of the Communist Dictatorship in East Germany
  • Curator of Collections Dr Manfred Wichmann, The Berlin Wall Foundation.
  • Artist Jens Haaning
  • Dr. Mattias Ekman, University of Oslo and member of team to design 22 July memorial at Utøya  

16.00               Goodbye

16.10               Reception hosted by the Danish Embassy

Presenter during the day: Clemens Bomsdorf, journalist and author

Photo credit: historielab.dk



Kontaktinformationen des Veranstalters

Königlich Dänische Botschaft - Veranstaltungen
+49 (0)30 5050 2202