cover image of Conference The Politics of Memory as a Weapon: Perspectives on Russia’s War against Ukraine project

    The Politics of Memory as a Weapon: Perspectives on Russia’s War against Ukraine

    Berlin, 8-10 February 2023

    This conference aims to examine the mechanisms and methods used in the political and social implementation of historical disinformation, the portrayal of the enemy, and discuss ways in which these can be prevented or mitigated. This will entail a (self-)critical analysis of political and scholarly dealings with history in various European countries. We shall also reflect on what happens when warnings from political and academic voices are not taken seriously enough, and on the consequences of the way in which attention has shifted from Russia to Ukraine.

    The crucial questions to be discussed during the conference include: When is it appropriate not only to speak out in contradiction, but to engage in political or even judicial countermeasures when dealing with widely divergent interpretations or indeed the falsification of historical facts? Where do propaganda and social manipulation begin? What can or should we expect from ‘public intellectuals’ in times of war and crisis? How can we ensure that civil society is enlightened and immunised, while at the same time guaranteeing the free exchange of ideas and historical interpretations? How effective can literature and art be in this endeavour? Is it possible for the concepts used in public history to be properly understood, and what part can dissidents play here?  What digital tools can be deployed to deflect propaganda and trolls on social media?

    This conference was preceded by a conference in Prague “Memory of the Past and Politics of the Present” on 28-29 November 2022 at the Goethe Institute in Prague. Both conferences are a part of the ENRS content framework “History, Memory, and Russia`s war against the Ukraine”.

    The conference will take place onsite at Documentation Centre for Displacement, Expulsion, Reconciliation in Berlin (Stresemannstraße 90, 10963 Berlin).

    The entire conference  will  be streamed online on the ENRS youtube channel: 
    click here

    Conference languages: English and partly German


    See full programme of the conference  click here

    The conference will start with a keynote lecture 'Rethinking memory studies at the time of war' by Andrii Portnov from European University Viadrina, Frankfurt/Oder.

    During the conference, panel discussions will cover a wide range of topics, including:

    ‘What should we have known about Russia and Ukraine? The limits of European intellectual and political discourse’ (with Guido Hausmann, Martin Šimečka, Marek Cichocki and Chantal Delsol)

    ‘Political approaches to Central and Eastern Europe’ (with Andrej Kolesnikov, Anna Kwiatkowska and Hans-Christian Petersen)

    ‘Russia's War in Ukraine – Between Imperialism and (Self-)Destruction?’ (with Irina Scherbakova, Marieluise Beck, Andrzej Nowak and Antoine Arjakovsky).



    Participation in the conference is free of charge but registration is obligatory. To register  click here




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