REPAST International Workshop - Negotiating Troubled Pasts: History, Politics, Arts and the Media

Friday 28 May 2021, 09:00 to 17:00

Several European societies are still suffering from the conflicts rooted in the past. The Workshop will discuss the outcomes of 12 EU funded international research projects that dealt with the processes of negotiating those troubled pasts. By analysing the discourses in history, media, politics and arts & culture the workshop explores how these discourses impact European societies. 

A range of topics will be discussed in four roundtables:

History and the european public sphere in the digital era. What's next for history, society and politics?

On the peak of the turn to digital sphere what has history to say about the changing ways religion, culture, history, and national narratives are present in our digital societies? What is indeed the actual impact of technological advancements on historical sources and methods on how societies see and interpret those events? How has technology influenced the perceptions about the role of historians in societies?  What makes transnational history so difficult to reach? Is it monocultural nationalism or is it some internal historical deficits in terms of methodological and conceptual tools?  What is the right thing for EU to do? Keep calm and let populism and memory agents take over the mnemonic communities of Europe or strike back and aggressively propose its political vision into the reading of the past? 

Art and conflicting memories

The roundtable will focus on the role of arts, aesthetics, heritage in the realm of the memory of the troubled pasts: how should we approach a plethora of micro-archives of aesthetic approaches and political sentiments towards troubled pasts and contentious heritage? What roles do artistic and cultural institutions play (what kind of agency are we ready to grant them) in working through past violence and injustice. How can conflict instigated by the artistic interventions be productively/creatively employed to overcome impasse in coming to terms with past traumas? How is dissent produced and remembered in the realm of culture and arts? These and many more questions will be addressed during the presentations and discussions. 

Contemporary politics and the conflicts of the past 

Political polarization and populism are on the rise in several countries. The conflicts of the past seem to be playing a crucial role in both phenomena. This panel will focus on how the memories about conflicts of the past are present in today’s political discourses, policies, laws, and public opinion. Also, it will assess to what extent those memories lead to divisions or, alternatively, to find common ground and unite around democratic values. By doing so it will identify the challenges that the EU faces in this respect. The cases analyzed in these projects represent different kinds of troubled pasts, as well as in the different kinds and timing of transitional or post-transitional justice.

Mnemonic Hegemony and the Media

This panel will be discussing media processes, systems and practices and their involvement in conflict and post conflict processes. The panel will present key findings from three projects, focusing on the relationships between media systems and conflict, paying particular attention to different media systems, historical legacies, temporalities of conflict, media actors, and current state of affairs. Issues to be discussed include processes of power and counter power, media inequalities, silences imposed, the quest for finding voice and representation, and the development of new approaches to media ethics and norms. Overall, the panel is interested in exploring how the media can mediate, facilitate or impede efforts to reach a post conflict reconciliation that achieves a sense of justice and closure.

We kindly invite you to participate at our workshop by joining us here. To receive additional information you could register here. If you have any question, contact us at


We are looking forward to meeting you online,

The RePAST Team