Exhibiting 20th century history

History museums and history exhibitions are central to any culture of history.

History museums and exhibitions are spaces where meaning is produced collectively; they are thus central to any culture of history. In history exhibitions our congealed imaginations of the past are brought into view or staged.

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Debating 20th century history

Negotiating history and memory in the public sphere

How historical 'facts' are understood is a matter of negotiation and is sometimes subject to intense debate amongst not just professional historians but also the public at large. In this section, we present public debates and controversies that emerge at different points in time and in a variety of local, national and trans-national contexts. The debates usually arise where dominant narratives are being contested or contrasting historical interpretations clash in the public sphere - during commemorative events, in academic publications or due to policy shifts.

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Politics of History

Laws, policies and government programs shape historical narratives

The ways in which history and the past are used and abused in the present are manifold. History is not only debated publicly or displayed and showcased in museums and temporary exhibitions, but historical narratives and experiences are also an integral part of political decision-making processes and of policy.

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Focus

Apart from documenting and analyzing cultures of history in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe from various angles, the Cultures of History Forum also regularly initiates collaborative, special feature projects that zoom in on specific events or discussions concerning the entire region (and sometimes beyond). By asking experts from the region to write about one and the same issue and how it is being debated in their respective local or national contexts, we intend to open up additional comparative insights into discourses and developments in this part of Europe. Though history and its representations is not necessarily the primary subject of these ‘focus projects’, it nevertheless often informs the ways in which current affairs are being understood and thus form an important backdrop to understanding local discourses.

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