Conflict and Cultural Destruction: Why Totalitarian Regimes Seek to Destroy Historical Memory.

Conflict and Cultural Destruction: Why Totalitarian Regimes Seek to Destroy Historical Memory.

Thursday 28 January 2016.

Evoking memory of the Nazi onslaught on cultural icons, the Taliban’s destruction of the Bamiyan statues and ISIS’s pillaging of pre-Islamic sites has horrified contemporary observers and raised new concerns about the ways certain regimes seek to destroy historical memory. At the same time, new narratives of cultural persistence and survival are emerging, such as Romanian efforts in the Cold War to circumvent censorship through theatre, or contemporary ways to counter hardline censorship of Persian literature in Iran. This expert panel will analyze the causes and broader consequences of demolishing culture and heritage and the challenges it poses in today’s world.

The panel will be followed by the opening of an art exhibition entitled “Last Folio: A Photographic Memory,” which documents books and buildings of cultural significance destroyed in Slovakia during the Holocaust. A short film documenting the origins of this exhibition will open the discussion at 4:30pm.
Speakers

Cristina Bejan, East European Studies Title VIII Scholar
Peter Black, Historian and Consultant
Deborah Lehr, Chair & Founder, The Antiquities Coalition
Azar Nafisi
Christian F. Ostermann, Director, History and Public Policy Program; Global Europe; Cold War International History Project; North Korea Documentation Project; Nuclear Proliferation International History Project

The event page is here.