Disputed Territories and Memory: Pathways to Agonism

DissTerMem - grafika konferencja

The Borderland is honoured to announce the international conference which is a part of the DisTerrMem international project. For more details see below.

International Conference

Disputed Territories and Memory: Pathways to Agonism

Institute of Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Kaunas, Lithuania & Borderland Foundation, Sejny, Poland

28-30 September 2023

TIME: 9am—5pm (UTC+2) (11am-7pm GMT) - Thursday, 28 September in Kaunas, Lithuania

TIME: 11am—6pm (UTC+1) (12-7pm GMT) - Friday, 29 September in Krasnogruda, Poland

TIME: 10am—6.30pm (UTC+1) (11am—7.30pmGMT) Saturday, 30 September in Sejny, Poland

Disputed Territories and Memory (DisTerrMem) is a groundbreaking project funded by Horizon 2020, the European Union’s most prominent research and innovation program. For the past four years, it has explored memory practices entangled with conflicts involving contested territories. Spearheaded by researchers from the Department of Politics, Languages and International Studies at the University of Bath, this initiative is led in collaboration with academic partners and civil society groups including the University of Warsaw and Borderland Foundation in Poland, The National Academy of Science, and Educational and Cultural Bridges in Armenia, Forman Christian College, Pakistan, and the Institute of Grand Duchy of Lithuania to investigate new, innovative strategies that facilitate peace building through the management of competing memories in non-conflicting ways.

In recent years, a global surge in violent conflicts has sent shock waves across the world stage. With societies increasingly polarized and past conflicts rekindling, the challenge of addressing the tangled web of memories in disputed territories has emerged as an urgent imperative. This challenge transcends boundaries, affecting the decision-makers, supranational organizations, custodians of heritage, and civil society advocates of peaceful co-existence. Over the past four years, DisTerrMem participants have embarked on a profound journey to unlock the potential of agonistic approaches which diverge from the traditional path of imposing uniform historical interpretations for conflict resolution in that they consider the identities and perspectives held by the diverse stakeholders involved. As we approach the culmination of this project, participants, external delegates, and invited speakers will meet at the Lithuanian Polish border to distil the invaluable lessons drawn from this venture, shedding light on the profound impact of agonistic approaches on dealing with competing memories across borders. The conference aims to ignite profound reflections on a multitude of pathways that lead to agonism. It will explore diverse case studies from understudied regions from Eastern Europe to South-East Asia and beyond. The concept of the pathway integrates model-oriented and practice-driven approaches and inspires research on memory work and strategies for conflict management, guiding us along an array of promising directions.

Invited Speakers include Aurimas Švedas, Associate Professor at the Faculty of History of Vilnius University and Deputy Director of the Lithuanian Institute of History; Lusine Kharatian, Armenian writer, cultural anthropologist and translator, the Chair of Women Writer’s Committee of PEN Centre Armenia; Siranush Aghajanyan, a leading Armenian visual artists and art activist specializing in creating street art mosaics, Shahid Nadeem, Pakistani journalist, playwright, screenwriter, theatre and television director, and a human rights activist, director of the Ajoka Theater, and Krzysztof Czyżewski, co-founder and president of Borderland Foundation who initiated the International Centre for Dialogue in Krasnogruda on the Polish-Lithuanian border. The conference will be live streamed and recorded. To find out more about the event and to attend the online sessions, please consult the Conference Programme.

The conference programme is in the file below.