Our understanding of memory follows the basic premise that memories are never simply records of the past and that the “past” is nothing natural. Instead it emerges at the moment when it is narrated, accounted, written down or represented through memorials, rituals and commemorations, or other practices and media. Collective memory is an interpretive social reconstruction embedded in one’s social, cultural and political contexts. It is a major idiom in the formation of identity, both individual and collective, and a site of present social and political struggle. Mauerpark Institute aims to facilitate a safe space where accounts and representations of collective experienced past may be unhindered talked about, discussed and learned from. We believe that a democratic and free society has the right to remember – whether in private or in public. An entitlement that needs to be given and protected from and by the state.
Our initial projects in this field include:
- Critical analyses on collective memories, especially on the tension between official vis-a-vis local narratives of past suffering in countries emerging from conflict
- Intercultural discussion platform on memory work and collective memory.