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Date | 03.04.2014 - 04.04.2014
Venue | Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Main Building, Schillerplatz 3, 1010 Vienna, Room M13

Concept: Suzana Milevska, Endowed Professor for Central and South-Eastern European Art Histories

Organisation: Vice-Rectorate for Art and Research of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
Team: Tanja Nis-Hansen, Anastasiya Yarovenko and Gabriele Holitz

A co-operation between ERSTE Foundation and the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna


Object by Anastasiya Yarovenko (fotocredit Richard Zazworka), 2014


The symposium "On Productive Shame, Reconciliation and Agency" will address the artistic and humanist research projects that deal with the issues of "unrepresentable" guilt, post-trauma suppression of memory, shame and forgiveness and will question the ontological notion of guilt. While trying to make a distinction between "inherited guilt" and "productive shame" Paul Gilroy, in Postcolonial Melancholia, writes about the need "to transform paralyzing guilt into a more productive shame that would be conducive to the building of a multicultural nationality that is no longer phobic about the prospect of exposure to either strangers or otherness." Hierarchies and hegemonic overwriting of reconciliation by power and different interests make urgent the issue of who decides when and how to reconcile. Particularly after the inconceivable atrocities of the conflicts in otherwise "brotherhood and unity" oriented ex-Yugoslavia, and after the recent outbursts of xenophobia, racism and ethnic conflicts all around Europe, we need new strategies to confront the fear of sublime political authority and its power to incite negativity and fragmentation. Trust in the potentials of empowerment, subjectivity, recuperation and agency of friendship and solidarity are needed more than ever. Therefore this symposium will focus on various models exercised in theory, art and culture that could also serve as a basis to conceptualize the socially transformative processes of rapprochement, reconciliation, change and resolution.

The symposium will address how ethnic difference, race, class, gender and sexuality affect, intersect and shape the (im)possibility for thinking about reconciliation. To better understand the complexity of negotiating reconciliation in different societies and cultures, as well as to understand the ethical and methodological issues related to art-based research projects, the invited speakers will propose various theoretical frameworks (postcolonial and decolonialisation studies, feminist and queer theories of transversiality and intersectionality, theories of agency, etc.).


Thursday, April 3, 2014


Andrea B. Braidt (Vicerector Art Research, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna)
Christine Böhler (Director Programme Culture, ERSTE Foundation)

Beyond an Ontology of Guilt

Suzana Milevska (Skopje/Vienna): Introduction and moderation
Jean-Paul Martinon (London): "Shame: Intentionality in Reverse"
Nikita Dhawan (Frankfurt am Main): "Governmentality and the Politics of Rape: Violence, Vulnerability and the State"

Friday, April 4, 2014

Postcolonial Melancholia and Conciliatory Potentials of Memorials

Christian Kravagna (Vienna): Moderation
Peter Mörtenböck, Helge Mooshammer, Das Kollektiv (Vienna): "Materials of Commemoration: The Changing Landscape of Mauthausen"
Timea Junghaus (Budapest): "Notes on Reconciliation in the Roma context"

Lunch (Catering)

Pondering into Collective Memories via Participatory Research

Suzana Milevska (Skopje/Vienna): Moderation
Karin Schneider (Vienna): "Participation and Representation in the Doing of History in Austria", a paper presentation based on the photographic research by Tal Adler
Jasmina Cibic (London): How (not) to shame a name
Jakob Krameritsch (Vienna)/Trevor Ngwane /Primrose Sonti (Marikana): "From Commission to Commission: Social Movements vs. Institutionalized Forms of Reconciliation in Post-Apartheid South Africa"

Coffee Break

Naming and Renaming Necessity: Rewriting and Recasting Memories

Timea Junghaus (Budapest): Moderation
Eduard Freudmann/Tatiana Kai-Browne (Vienna): "Unearthing a Nazi Poet"
Dejan Vasić (Belgrade): "Art as critical and political practice: Where the subjugated knowledge is, sociability occurs", presentation of Working Group Four Faces of Omarska
Zsuzsi Flohr (Budapest): "On the Road with Sándor Képíró II"

17.30 - 18.30
Closing Panel Discussion

Get together

Presenters and Moderators:

Tal Adler, artist and photographer, Vienna (Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, research project "Conserved Memories")

Jasmina Cibic, artist, London

Nikita Dhawan, Junior Professor of Gender and Postcolonial Studies, Director of the Research Center for Postcolonial Studies Frankfurt am Main

Zsuzsi Flohr, artist, Budapest, PhD Candidate, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna

Eduard Freudmann, artist and researcher, PhD Candidate and Senior Artist teaching at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna

Timea Junghaus, art historian, contemporary art curator and cultural activist of Roma origin, a Researcher at the Hungarian Academy Sciences and director of the European Roma Cultural Foundation and Gallery8 - Roma Contemporary Art Space, Budapest

Tatiana Kai-Browne,works and studies at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna.

Das Kollektiv - a group of architecture and planning students at Vienna University of Technology formed in autumn 2013, design studio "geDENKSTÄTTE MAUTHAUSEN: a memorial site in motion"

Jakob Krameritsch, historian and researcher, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna

Christian Kravagna, Professor of Postcolonial Studies, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna

Jean-Paul Martinon, Senior Lecturer at the Visual Culture Department, Goldsmiths College, London

Suzana Milevska, Endowed Professor of Central and South-Eastern European Art Histories, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna

Helge Mooshammer, Director of the international research projects Relational Architecture and Other Markets and Research Fellow in the Department of Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London

Peter Mörtenböck, Professor of Visual Culture at Vienna University of Technology and Research Fellow in the Department of Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London

Trevor Ngwane, an activist and scholar, a PhD candidate at the University of Johannesburg at the Research Chair for Social Change.

Karin Schneider, historian, researcher and art mediator, Vienna, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, research project "Conserved Memories"

Primrose Sonti, an activist, living in Marikana, leader of the Marikana Women's League "Sikhala Sonke" (We cry together).

Dejan Vasić, curator and art theorist, Belgrade, a member of the Working Group Four Faces of Omarska.