The cultural memory platform “Past / Future / Art” organized a two-day discussion program specifically for the artistic project about unity #bruederschaft. The project was part of the German Weeks in Ukraine 2020, dedicated to the 30th anniversary of German unification.
In 1990 the official process of unification of GFR (German Federal Republic) and GDR (German Democratic Republic) into contemporary Germany ended. The day of German Unity — is not a regular memorial day or a simple excuse to celebrate. It’s a push to reflect about difficult problems, such as the social relationships in divided societies, ways of departure from the conditions of totalitarianism to democracy, and the sources of nostalgic memories. To the discussions we have invited Ukrainian and European intellectuals, ready to look at the experience of the unification process in Germany and to reflect on the possibilities of unification in Ukraine, which for now still remains in the realm of hopes and dreams.
OSTALGIE: WHY DO DEMOCRATIC SOCIETIES FEEL NOSTALGIC ABOUT DICTATORIAL REGIMES?
20 October 12:00
Speakers: Hanna Uliura, Sofia Andrukhovych, Andriy Kurkov, Nelia Vakhovska
Moderator: Oksana Forostyna
30 years of united Germany reveals a trend of yearning for the times of the GDR. This phenomenon even has its own name — Ostalgie. After the unification of Germany, exactly this phenomenon became the object of discussion and reflection in literature, cinema and popular culture. The set of questions related to Ostalgie are focused primarily on the very powerful mechanisms of construction and adjustment of collective memory such as, nostalgia, feelings of guilt, and retraumatization. Which aspects of the integration processes in Germany serve as valuable lessons and which aspects of the German experience are signs of caution?
Hanna Uliura, literature critic, literary scholar, curator, researcher of ideological trends in literature in transitional periods (Ukraine); Sofia Andrukhovych, writer, translator, author of novels “Amadoka”, “Felix Austria” (Ukraine); Andriy Kurkov, writer, columnist, president of PEN Ukraine, one of a few Ukrainian authors whose novels became bestsellers in Germany; Nelia Vakhovska, translator, literary scholar, researcher of the ideological discourse of unification in the German novels of the 1990s (Ukraine); Oksana Forostyna, writer, journalist, co-founder of the publishing house “Yakaboo Publishing”, translator of P. Pomerantsev’s book “This is not Propaganda” (Ukraine).
МETAMORPHOSIS OF THE 1990: (NOT) BEING READY TO WAKE UP TO THE NEW REALITY
20 October 16:00
Speakers: Georgiy Kasianov, Igor Pomerantsev
Moderator: Oksana Dovgopolova
The unification of Germany created an impression that what had seemed impossible is actually possible. At the beginning of 1989 no one would have thought that the Berlin wall would fall, the cold war would end and GFR and GDR would become one country. The new reality of the year 1990 was somewhat kafkaesque: people suddenly woke up in a world they had never learnt to live in. To understand herself or himself a person had to find its place in a certain scenario – and here both history and literature employ similar instruments, yet they work with different material. For this reason we have invited a historian and a literary scholar for a conversation.
Georgiy Kasianov, historian, PhD in history, professor, head of the Department of Modern History and Policy of the Institute of History of Ukraine (National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine) (Ukraine); Igor Pomerantsev, writer, columnist, radio host, human rights defender (United Kingdom, Germany, Czechia); Oksana Dovgopolova, Doctor of Philosophy, curator of the “Past / Future / Art” project.
DIVIDED SOCIETIES AND THE LENS OF DIGNITY
21 October 12:00
Speakers: Galina Ackerman, Konstantyn Sihov, Viacheslav Horshkov, Regina Elsner
Moderator: Oksana Dovgopolova
What exactly is democracy? What concepts are key to understanding the transition from a dictatorship to a society based on civic values? In the overall euphoria of the German unification it seemed that it was enough to simply unite and everything will be alright. However, it turned out that this was not the end of the story. We have decided to gather intellectuals, who have been discussing the main values of democracy for years and have invariably returned to the understanding of dignity. We offer to you a conversation about divided societies on their way to democracy as seen through the lens of dignity. The voices of philosophers, historians, theologists and human rights defenders were part of this discussion.
Galina Ackerman, journalist, historian, columnist at the “Politique Internationale” journal (France); Konstantyn Sihov, philosopher, director of the academic publishing house “Duh i Litera”; Viacheslav Horshkov, scholar of religious studies, researcher of cultural diplomacy of the UNR (Ukrainian National Republic), Ukraine; Regina Elsner, theologist, researcher at the Centre for East European and International Studies (ZOiS) (Germany); Oksana Dovgopolova, Doctor of Philosophy, curator of the “Past / Future / Art” project.
The artistic project #bruederschaft — is a large scale visual and cultural-discussion program, implemented within the framework of the German Weeks in Ukraine, which take place from 3 to 23 of October, 2020. Through the cooperation with the artistic community, the organisers — German Embassy in Ukraine — aim to strengthen the discussion about the meaning and understanding of the concept of unity for contemporary society beyond geographical boundaries.
The #bruederschaft project is developed by Maria Lanko and Lizaveta German — curators, researchers, and founders of The Naked Room gallery.
The discussion program was organized by the cultural memory platform “Past / Future / Art” curated by Oksana Dovgopolova and Kateryna Semenyuk.
Event partner — Hub Public Media Academy
Project website — bruederschaft.com.ua
Project hashtag — #брюдершафт