2nd Partner Meeting: Budapest, 4th and 5th February 2019

All partners are introduced to the Living Memorial at Liberty Square

On December 31st, 2013 it was announced that there will be a memorial about the German occupation of Hungary, claiming that Hungary and the Hungarians were victims during WWII. There was no announcement for artists, no public competition. 437 000 Hungarian Jews were brought to Auschwitz or other concentration camps, only a few survived, the deportation was organised with an active role of the Hungarian state and institutions. It is a scandal to say that the Hungarians were only victims.

Activists of the Living Memorial organized a flashmob next to the future memorial, and asked citizens to bring personal objects to the site on 23rd March 2014. People shared the story of the objects with each other. Two white chairs were put in the middle of the site symbolizing the dialogue between the people. Later more and more white chairs have been supplied and until today the activists organized 592 talks with the public.

The official monument was built it was never inaugurated; no official ever came to the site. The activists call it “The dead monument”, it is facing the “Living Monument”, the one that keeps the real memory of the suffering. It provides the site for the public discussions, because Hungarian people must engage in a real memory work of their history of the past century without keeping certain facts in silence.

Partners discuss the state of planning and implementation of the 5 local exhibitions and workshops. As the exhibitions will tune into a monument of visibility – in Romania for instance related to the anniversary of the revolution- they will not happen at the same time but consecutively and as they happen will be documented and added to the website.

The design and functionality of the website is discussed as well as thematic categories that are meant to structure the material gathered by the project towards its use in a toolkit. It is the hope that these will make the material searchable and to a certain extend ‘comparable’.

Contested Spaces of Memory

  • CIVIC SPACE (and institutions)
  • GENTRIFICATION
  • MONUMENTS

Political views that impact collective memory

  • NATIONALISM
  • REVISIONISM

Historic background of memory formation []

  • (POST) COMMUNISM
  • COLONIALISM(S)

Forms of Heritage

  • SOCIAL HERITAGE/Identities
  • RELIGIOUS Heritage/IDENTITIES

Transversal themes

  • ABUSE
  • TOTALITARIANISM
  • EXPLOITATION

The first day ends with all partners participating in a dialogue circle organised by the hosts with local citizens that bring objects and tell their story of painful memory, mainly related to the Hungarian holocaust.

Partners decide for an alternative to a MOOC. HCZ will instead produce an online toolkit in which practitioners can find reference documents, best practice examples, a Q&A section and films produced at all partners and their projects.

Partners discuss and decide on a set of question for an online survey to identify best practice examples across Europe. This survey will be online from April to October 2019:

  • What is your aim?
  • What is unique (thematically or socially) to your specific context
  • What is your theme and target group (what roles do you have in your work)? What kind of target group would you like to involve in your work?
  • How do you create currency in your work? (how are you self-reflective)
  • How do you deal with conflict? What is your main method?
  • How do you relate to the following themes identified (see above)

All partners test the questionnaire with themselves before we send them out.

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