histoCON 2022 is an international history festival. We are looking for workshop hosts (no age restrictions) from around the world!
histoCON is organised by the Federal Agency for Civic Education (bpb) and supported by the German Foreign Office. histoCON’s claim is "Look back, think ahead" – because familiarity and critical engagement with history can help us understand the present and learn for the future.
Around 250 young adults from all over the world aged between 18 and 30 are invited to come to come together in Berlin to look at post-1945 history from multiple perspectives:
How do different countries and regions look at history?
Where are differences and commonalities?
Which stories are being heard and which ones are not?
histoCON addresses both those who have previously only reflected on historical themes at school or college, as well as persons with professional backgrounds. The latter can apply to be workshop hosts for histoCON. The application deadline is 15 June 2022.
What is the aim of histoCON 2022?
Using target group specific and participative formats we want to explore, discuss and deconstruct images, receptions and narratives of history and the cultures and politics of memory. The aim is to use shared perspectives to learn from each other across borders and in dialogue, to develop new project ideas and build networks. We not only want to look at the past but also understand how historical developments are influencing us in the here and now and how they might do in the future.
Who are we looking for?
We are looking for workshop hosts from different backgrounds to offer various formats, such as fishbowls, panel discussions, lectures, open spaces, cultural and artistic workshops, field trips, city tours, readings followed by discussion etc.
What criteria should the workshops meet?
The workshops need to...
concentrate on one of the three thematic focal areas,
address one or several of histoCON’s target groups,
particularly include transnational or transregional perspectives,
make use of strongly interactive/innovative/creative methods,
use English as a working language.
What are we offering workshop hosts?
reimbursement of costs for travel, accommodation and meals,
participation in the entire festival (if desired),
a networking platform and opportunity to develop new project ideas with other international participants.
What are the focal areas?
histoCON will concentrate on three focal areas and (presumed) dichotomies, each of which has influenced history after the end of the Second World War:
Independence / Dependence
Conflict / Cooperation
Transformation / Continuity
Open the infobox to learn more about the focal areas and guiding questions.
histoCON 2022Focal areas and guiding questions
Independence / Dependence
With the end of the Second World War, freedom movements became a global focus as former colonies gained their independence. At the same time, new dependencies were created: With the onset of the Cold War immediately after 1945, a global balance of power emerged that is often described as bipolar and which also led to huge economic disadvantages for a so-called "Third World".
The focal area Independence / Dependence asks what independences were achieved post-1945 and what dominances and dependencies persisted or newly emerged. It also asks how these continue to influence our lives today (politically, socially, culturally) and whether it is always so easy to differentiate between dependence and independence.
We look forward to contributions that deal with the following or similar questions:
What stories of independence and dependence exist after 1945 (for example early decolonization but also the Cold War)?
How did power relations shift post-1945, and what global power shifts have taken place since then?
What dependencies emerged after 1945 and why?
How did power relations shift globally, and how do they continue to shift today? How do "Super Powers" and a "Third World" arise?
What independence movements arose after 1945, who came together under their banner, what hopes were placed in them, and were they successful?
What are the hidden ideologies in a world imagined as bipolar (the role of Communism and Capitalism)?
How are these stories told in different countries? Are there two or more sides to them? Are there any forgotten stories? What stories were purposely suppressed or marginalized?
What commemoration (e.g. public holidays, memorials, honouring heroes, remembering the victims of violence and war, myths) are associated with these stories? Who commemorates what? Who is able to/allowed to commemorate? How is public commemoration different from civic or private commemoration, and how do the respective forms interrelate?
What actually are independence and dependence? Is the former only ever good and the latter only ever bad? Or are they just concepts that don’t exist in reality?
How do the dependencies and independencies that have arisen since 1945 influence our lives today?
What dependencies and independencies are we living with today and how are we dealing with them?
How do historical dependencies still influence our political thought?
What does independence look like today?
What is the role of justice in this dichotomy?
Conflict / Cooperation
The post-war period was characterized by efforts to set up structures to secure peace in the long term. The foundation of the United Nations and the adoption of the (Universal) Declaration of Human Rights aimed to create an organisation that would maintain peace and protect people against government excesses in the future. Nevertheless, violations of the declaration have repeatedly occurred. In addition to economic reasons, the same intention was behind the foundation of what was later to become the European Union: to prevent wars on the continent. At the same time, conflicts and wars went on regardless, and there was a nuclear threat.
The focal area Conflict / Cooperation asks how cooperation between states and political “blocs” developed over the course of history, but also how it was possible that conflicts continued to break out despite efforts towards more cooperation. We will look at how they emerged, whether and/or how they were resolved and how they influence us today.
How do international relations develop?
What supranational institutions played a role in securing peace and continue to do so today?
What actors from civil society actively promoted/are actively promoting international cooperation and how did they/do they work across borders?
How do we deal with conflicts and wars between states in our time? Can we learn from history?
(What) can we learn from past wars and peace agreements?
How did we/do we deal with internal conflicts?
How are processes of democratization related to the creation of peace?
What is the relevance of human rights? Who won them and why? Who did and didn’t they apply to?
Has how we deal with war changed today?
Has the world become more peaceful after 1945?
How did we/are we dealing with militarization and nuclear armament?
Transformation / Continuity
Memory cultures are changeable but can also become entrenched. They can be inclusive and exclusive. Other important categories of social memory are gender, religion, social class, national/ethnic identity and generation. How we each understand history also tells us a lot about how we look at the present.
The focal area Transformation / Continuity is asking which transformation processes in memory cultures after 1945 were important turning points, but also which continuities persisted and still persist today.
How does memory become history?
What is remembered differently in different countries? Which social groups remember in what way? Which memories compete with one another, or are even in conflict? Are there commonalities? Can transnational memory and commemoration work? And what is the added value of memory that no longer has a national focus only?
How can we critically engage with history? How do we face up to the past both in the positive and negative sense?
How is history turned into politics – and when is this legitimate or illegitimate?
What do “Never again war” and “Never again fascism” mean to us today? Has “never again” failed?
Can we compare today’s situations with past events?
Which stories are being heard, which are not and why?
How does history shape identity?
How do we remember once there are no contemporary witnesses left?
How do digital media influence and change memory? What opportunities and challenges are linked to this?
What are legitimate and illegitimate comparisons when the Holocaust is discussed in comparison to other genocides and colonial crimes? What are the implications of such comparisons for a culture of memory that takes up “multidirectional memories”?