Pathways to recognition? Visual representations and minority politics in Eastern and Southeastern Europe

Beate Binder (Humboldt-Universit├Ąt zu Berlin)
Roland Ibold (Humboldt University Berlin)
History, politics and urban studies
Start time:
23 June, 2015 at 10:30
Session slots:

Short abstract:

Within transformations of Eastern and Southeastern societies since 1989/1990 minority groups fight for recognition. In so doing, visual representations as films and photographs play a crucial role. The panel aims at analyzing these visual representations and its related practices of recognition.

Long abstract:

Since 1989/90 Eastern and Southeastern European societies undergo conflictual transformations, which are orchestrated by a politics of history aiming at the re-construction of national identities. It is within this framework that minority groups seek to gain recognition, social justice, and societal participation. As it turned out, visual representations, above all films and photographs, play a crucial role in these struggles for recognition, while they show the cultural heritage and the contribution of minorities to national pasts and presents. For example, a growing number of films point at Romania's part in the execution of Jews and Roma during World War II. Such films - initially made in order to archive testimonies of Holocaust survivors - became a strong weapon: They not only make visible that Jews and Roma have long been a part of society, but further they reshape common stereotypes about those groups. We invite scholars, photographers and filmmakers likewise to discuss against the backdrop of their own case studies the following aspects: - Which images are produced in order to make visible (social, ethnic, sexual etc.) minorities? Which (counter-) narratives are told, which are (still) silenced? Which utopias are offered? - Which groups and persons are involved in these struggles and how do they proceed? Which role do transnational entanglements and exchanges play? - How are these processes framed by changes in media industries and technologies? - How to approach, analyze, and conceptualize visual representations and its related practices? How to engage theory and practice in these conflicts?