Virtual book launch: Contested Histories in Public Spaces

Alicia Rijlaarsdam EUROCLIO, Project Updates ,

The virtual launch of the eBook Contested Histories in Public Spaces: Principles, Processes, Best Practices” will be held on Thursday 11 February (18:00 – 19:00 CET).

During the webinar, hosted by the International Bar Association, participants will hear from the volumes’ co-editors, such as Dr Timothy W Ryback, Dr Mark Ellis, and Benjamin Glahn, along with practitioners and scholars.

The landmark volume is intended for policymakers confronting controversies over historical legacies in public spaces like statues, memorials and street names. It presents ten case studies and discusses their significance, interpretations and possible remedies – placarding, resignification and repurposing, to relocation, removal, or destruction. Iconic examples are disputes over Christopher Columbus, Edward Colston, Robert E Lee, and Cecil Rhodes, among others.

‘Contested Histories’ is a project developed by EuroClio’s research centre Institute for Historical Justice and Reconciliation in order to tackle these issues and offer a resolution to such controversies. As of February 2021, the project has identified more than 230 cases of contested histories in public spaces.

The registration for the webinar and other details can be found on on the IBA website.

Virtual Discussion – “75 Years Since: How We Remember World War II in Europe”

On 2 September 2020, the world is marking the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II (WWII). The war remains one of the most painful and conflicting episodes of the European nations’ memories. Many current conflicts are embedded in history and in the use of history as a political tool.

On May 2020, the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum released a short film - “Clash of Memories: 75 Years after the End of WWII in Europe”. The film deals with historical memory and different modes of remembrance in Germany, Poland and Russia.

Taking the film as a starting point, the speakers will seek answers to the following questions:

  • What are the main narratives of remembrance surrounding WWII in different European countries? Who are the major actors in the process of commemoration?
  • How does the clash of memories emerge? In which way do the current conflicts of memories relate to each other?
  • How is the topic reflected in history school education? Is a unified history (textbook) possible?
  • What can be done to resolve these conflicts deriving from the historical past?

All participants are encouraged to actively contribute to the discussion and share their thoughts and narratives from their own countries.


  •  Jörg Morré, German-Russian Museum Berlin-Karlshorst (Germany)
  • Alexandra Polivanova, International Memorial (Russia)
  • Jan Szkudliński, historian, former specialist at the Museum of World War II (Poland)


  • Steven Stegers, EuroClio (the Netherlands)

The discussion will take place on 2 September 2020, 4pm – 6pm, via Zoom. The language of the discussion is English, no interpretation will be provided.

To register click here.


The EU-Russia Civil Society Forum was established in 2011 by non-governmental organisations as a permanent common platform. At the moment, 183 NGOs from Russia and the European Union are members or supporters of the Forum. It aims at developing the cooperation of civil society organisations from both Russia and the EU, and greater participation of NGOs in the EU-Russia dialogue. The Forum has been actively involved, inter alia, in the question of Visa facilitation agreements, the development of civic participation, the protection of the environment and human rights, as well as dealing with history and civic education.

To watch the short film “Clash of Memories: 75 Years after the End of WWII in Europe” please click here. The film is a follow-up of the Touring Exhibition “Different Wars: National School Textbooks on World War II”, which was shown in 2016-2019 in 20 cities and towns in EU member states, Belarus and Russia.

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