The European Observatory on Memories (EUROM) participates in the 2014 IC MEMO Annual Conference held in Falstad(Norway), under the title Negotiating Memory in a Changing World: Memorial Sites, Museums and Best Practices for the Future. The EUROM is a member of the board of ICMEMO, the International Committee of Memorial Museums in Remembrance of the Victims of Public Crimes.
Our stories and memories of the past are today marked by a transcending of national and ethnic boundaries, causing a change in the basic grammar of collective memory (Assmann). Modern societies thus mediate national memories in new ways; they are transformed but not erased, they continue to exist, yet are subjected to new memory patterns.
Commemorating multicultural and hyper-mediated tragedies, like the terror attacks in New York, Madrid, and Oslo, as well as the suppressed memories of traumas like the Holocaust and the Spanish Civil War, are examples of such new and multi-layered processes, which in many respects differ from more traditional patterns of remembering wars and conflicts.
In the recently published report of the Council of Europe, Living Together – Combining diversity and freedom in the 21 century Europe, museums and other cultural institutions are seen as important educational tools: to develop intercultural competencies and to overcome major threats to peace and sustainable democracy. This conference aims at making a roadmap on how to deal with near and distant historical traumas, and how memorials and museums can contribute to the service of democratic development and intercultural understanding in the future.