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Conference

STONES OF CONTENTION OR STANDARDISED RITUAL?
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON THE ROLE OF THE STOLPERSTEIN PROJECT IN CONTEMPORARY REMEMBRANCE CONFLICTS

• 21 & 22 February 2019
• German Resistance Memorial Centre (Stauffenbergstraße 13-14, 10785 Berlin) Room 2B, 2nd floor
• Mail tagung@stolpersteine-berlin.de to register (deadline: 10 February 2019)

For over 20 years, Gunter Demnig has carried out his art project in Germany and Europe, laying stumbling stones (German: Stolpersteine) – brass tiles, measuring ten by ten centimetres, to commemorate people persecuted under Nazism, inscribed with their names and dates, in the ground in front of their last voluntarily chosen homes. What started as a small artistic intervention in a public space is now one of the largest decentral monuments in Europe, comprising 70,000 stumbling stones in 24 countries. Enjoying broad public support, the Stolperstein project has come to be recognised as a remembrance project that is firmly anchored in society and a source of inspiration for similar projects. But this development does not find universal approval. Critical voices question the usefulness of participatory forms of remembrance and stress the limitation of unquestioned public participation in projects that deal with the past as serving merely to relieve the burden of responsibility.

These issues will be further correlated, debated and discussed at an international conference in February 2019. For the first time, the conference will bring together specialists from Germany, France, Spain, Israel, Canada, Russia, the Netherlands, the United States and the United Kingdom to appraise Gunter Demnig’s art project in the context of policy on remembrance and the past. The conference aims to analyse the success of the Stolperstein project in comparative terms, to map out the controversies arising in recent decades, to define the role of the project in European memorial culture (and beyond) and lastly to consolidate and extend existing networks of exchange and information.

The conference will take place in cooperation with the Centre for Contemporary History Potsdam and the Stolpersteine Coordinating Agency Berlin, with the support of the Friends of the Centre for Contemporary History Potsdam. The conference is made possible with the financial support of the Verein der Freunde und Förderer des ZZF Potsdam an the Stiftung SPUREN – GUNTER DEMNIG.

Talks will be given in German and English and are aimed at interested members of the public as well as specialist attendees.
If you would like to attend, please register by email to tagung@stolpersteine-berlin.de by 10 February 2019.