Facing Violence: When and Why to Document War Experiences?


Fr. 27.05.2022 | 17:00 Uhr
Dr. Felix Ackermann

Wir laden herzlich zur öffentlichen englischsprachigen Diskussion am DHI Warschau und online ein. 

At this very moment Ukrainian cities are being shelled by Russian bombs. Mariupol has been almost completely ruined. Within two months thousands of civilians have been killed. More than five million Ukrainians have left Ukraine to find a shelter. Many more have been displaced inside Ukraine. None of these know when they will be able to go back home. The discussion focuses on the practice of witnessing and documenting war. How can we draw on historical experiences and lessons from documenting experiences of violence and warfare? How does the ongoing Russian war in Ukraine change our understanding of the history of the region and beyond and update historical experiences of documenting the war? The roundtable will reference existing historical sources of wars of the twentieth century to raise questions about the production of knowledge in extreme circumstances. Such contextualization can help us to explore the question of choice in the process of creating and preserving documents, the way in which these processes amplify some voices while silencing others.

Natalia Aleksiun (University of Florida)
Sofia Dyak (Center for Urban History)
Machteld Venken (University of Luxembourg)
Anna Wylegala (Polish Academy of Science)
Moderator: Felix Ackermann (GHI Warsaw)

The event is is part of the public program on documenting experiences of violence and warfare “Source as a Choice” organized by the Center for Urban History in cooperation with EHRI and in partnership with Fordham University

The discussion is part of the GHI-workshop "Witnessing the Now" which is held by German Historical Institute Warsaw in the frame of the project “24.02.22, 5 am: Testimonies from the War” conducted by the Center for Urban History (Lviv) in cooperation with the University of St Andrews, the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, the Polish Academy of Science, The Luxembourg Centre for Contemporary and Digital History (C²DH) and the University of Luxembourg.

The discussion takes place in the German Historical Institute Warsaw (al. Ujazdowskie 39, 00-540 Warszawa) as well as online. 

In order to participate online (Zoom), please register per email to schwark@dhi.waw.pl 

Workshop: „The Circle of Life” – Birth, Dying, and the Liminality of Life since the Nineteenth Century
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