Conflicted Memory in Bosnia and Herzegovina | 13.09.2022

How about the culture of remembrance in Bosnia and Herzegovina?
What are the current challenges the country is facing and which role does the culture of remembrance play in this?

We discussed these questions together with:
Lejla Gačanica (Politikanalytikerin und unabhängiger Forscherin)
Jasmin Mujanović (Political Scientist and Policy Specialist)
Denis Džidić (Journalist,, Executive Director at Balkan Investigative Reporting Network)

Denis Džidić is the Executive Director and Editor of the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BIRN BiH). Denis has worked as a journalist since 2006, starting his career in Oslobodjenje, a daily newspaper from Bosnia and Herzegovina. He has also worked for the Institute for War and Peace Reporting in Sarajevo and The Hague, reporting on transitional justice issues and covering war crimes trials related to the 1992-1995 conflict in BiH. He joined BIRN in August 2008 and has worked as a journalist, deputy editor and chief editor for BIRN BiH before being named Executive Director and Editor in October 2019.

Dr. Jasmin Mujanović is a Political Scientist (Ph.D., York University) specializing in the politics of post-authoritarian and post-conflict democratization. His first book ‚Hunger and Fury: The Crisis of Democracy in the Balkans‘ (Hurst Publishers & Oxford University Press, 2018) examines the persistence of authoritarian and illiberal forms of governance in the Western Balkans since the end of the Yugoslav Wars. His publications also include peer-reviewed articles in top-flight academic journals, chapters in numerous edited volumes and policy. Originally from Sarajevo, he is currently an Advisory Board member of the Kulin Initiative, and a Course Coordinator contracted by the Foreign Service Institute at the U.S. Department of State.

Lejla Gačanica is PhD candidate and is currently working as a political analyst and independent researcher. Her areas of interest are culture of remembrance, human rights, gender equality and constitutional law. She is the author of published articles, analytical, scientific and research papers in these fields.
Here you can find a Stratgiepaper wirh Lejla Gačanica as Co-Autorin:
BEYOND NON-PAPERS. How a progressive, geopolitical role of the EU could solve problems in the WB6 and bring enlargement back to success

Here you can find the oral-history projects Denis Džidić spoke about:
About the siege of Sarajevo: 44 Month Under Siege

Testimonies of Survivors oft he Srebrenica Genocide:
The Lives Behind The Field Of Death

Burdened memory: The state of culture of remembrance in Hungary | 20.10.2022

How about the culture of remembrance in Hungary? What is remembered? Are the crimes of the Hungarian Nazis currently being set off against those of the Communists? What role does state remembrance take in this? What are the current challenges the country is facing? We discussed these questions together with:

We discussed these questions together with:
Andrea Pető (Historian , Professor in the Department of Gender Studies at Central European Universityin Vienna and a Doctor at Science of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences)
Attila Pók(Historian and Senior Researcher at the Institute of Advanced Studies Kőszeg)
Andrea Tompa (Writer, Associate Professor at the Babeș-Bolyai University, Hungarian Theater Department, Cluj, Romania)

Andrea Pető is a historian and a Professor at the Department of Gender Studies at Central European University, Vienna, Austria, a Research Affiliate of the CEU Democracy Institute, Budapest, and a Doctor of Science of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Her works on gender, politics, Holocaust, and war have been translated into 23 languages. In 2018 she was awarded the 2018 All European Academies (ALLEA) Madame de Staël Prize for Cultural Values. She is Doctor Honoris Causa of Södertörn University, Stockholm, Sweden. Recent publications include: The Women of the Arrow Cross Party. Invisible Hungarian Perpetrators in the Second World War. Palgrave, Macmillan, 2020. . And Forgotten Massacre: Budapest 1944. DeGruyter, 2021. She writes op-ed pieces for many international and national media.

Andrea Tompa is a writer and an associate professor at the Babeș-Bolyai University, Hungarian Theater Department, Cluj, Romania. She holds her PhD in Russian literature. She has been working as a theater critic for two decades, being the editor-in-chief of theater magazine Színház until 2019. Her major field of interest and research is contemporary Hungarian theater, and 20th century Hungarian theater history in Romania. She is also a novelist, who published four novels. Her novels deals with the burdened past of Hungarians. Her first novel, The Hangman’s House was published by Seagull Books in English, her novel Omerta came out at Suhrkamp Verlag in Germany in 2022. She lives in Budapest.

Attila Pók is senior researcher at the Institute of Advanced Studies Kőszeg (Hungary). He was (1996-2018) deputy director of the Institute of History at the Research Centre for Humanities at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Budapest, Secretary General (2007-2015) of the Hungarian Historical Association and Visiting Professor of History at Columbia University in New York (1998-2013). His publications and courses cover three major fields: 19th-20th century European political and intellectual history, history of modern European historiography with special regard to political uses of history and theory and the methodology of history writing.

List of Links, which where mentioned during the talk:

About illiberal memory politics

About illiberal academic authorization

About historical profession unchanged after 1989

About sexual violence in wartime

About banning gender studies in Hungary

The childrens book ‚ A Fairytale for Everyone‘

Novels by Andrea Tompa

Democracy in danger?! Developments in Rule of Law and Civil Society | 03.11.2022

Free elections, freedom of the press and the rule of law were hard-won in Poland in the 1980s. In recent years, the country has repeatedly come under international criticism for dismantling the rule of law. How are the hard-won democratic freedoms of that time remembered today and are they currently in danger? What about the democratic and political awareness of Polish civil society and the culture of remembrance in Poland?

We discussed these questions together with:

Katarzyna Batko-Tołuć (Member of the Board at Watchdog Poland)
Dr. Jacek Kołtan (Director’s Representative for Research at the European Solidarity Centre)
Filip Pazderski (Senior Policy Analyst and Director of the Democracy and Civil Society Program of the Institute of Public Affairs )
Malwina Talik (Research Associate at the Institute for the Danube Region and Central Europe)

Katarzyna Batko-Tołuć is a Programme Director and a Board Member of the Citizens Network Watchdog Poland. Through litigation, advocacy and building a grass-root social movement, the organisation aims at enforcing freedom of information, freedom of speech, transparency of governments and accountability of decision-making. Katarzyna is also a member of the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum’s Solidarity Group, International Advisory Board of Access Info Europe and an Asoka Fellow. In 2022 she graduated from RARE – Re-Charging Advocacy for Rights in Europe by Hertie School, Hungarian Helsinki Committee and the Netherlands Helsinki Committee.

Dr. Jacek Kołtan,PhD, philosopher and political scientist, Director’s Representative for Research at the European Solidarity Centre in Gdańsk, Poland. He studied at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan (Poland), Humboldt-Universität and Freie Universität in Berlin (Germany). He has been a fellow of the KAAD scholarship fund in Berlin (2001–2007) and a visiting scholar of the Catholic University of America in Washington DC (2012). His research interests cover social and political theory, history of solidarity idea, social movements, hermeneutics as well as social design and anthropology. He is author of Solidarity, Democracy, Europe (co-ed. 2021), Solidarity and the Crisis of Trust (ed., 2016), Anthology. European Solidarity Centre Permanent Exhibition (ed., 2015), Solidarność. A Peaceful Revolution (ed., 2009), Der Mitmensch. Zur Identitätsproblematik des sozialen Selbst ausgehend von der Frühphilosophie Martin Heideggers und Karl Löwiths (2012). He teaches at the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdansk and the Collegium Artes Liberales at the Warsaw University. Further Information:

Filip Pazderski –A lawyer and sociologist after studies at University of Warsaw, he has also graduated from European Master’s Degree Program in Human Rights and Democratization (E.MA) in Venice. Senior Policy Analyst and Director of the Democracy and Civil Society Program of the Institute of Public Affairs (Warsaw based non-partisan think tank organisation), where he works on civil society, civic education, public participation, quality of democracy, elections and rule of law. His academic interests also include social and cultural memory in the German-Polish borderland. He carried out research and wrote reports for such institutions as OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, European Economic and Social Committee, International IDEA, Open Society European Policy Institute (OSEPI), National Democratic Institute (NDI), Office of the Senate of the Republic of Poland, Polish Ministry of Labour and Social Policy and Educational Research Institute. He is also a vice-President of the European Civic Forum (ECF), a European network of over 100 civic organisations and a consultant to the Council of Europe in the field of civic education and participation.

Malwina Talikis a research associate at the Institute for the Danube Region and Central Europe (IDM) in Vienna, where she specializes in democratic transitions in CEE, Polish politics, women’s leadership and political participation. Previously she has worked at the Polish Academy of Sciences – Scientific Center in Vienna and at the Polish Embassy in Vienna where she conceptualized and managed projects and events on the Austrian, German and Polish cultures of remembrance. She holds a European Master’s degree in Global Studies and Global History (EMGS) from the University of Leipzig and University of Vienna.
Further information: