OPEN UP! The Week of Contested Heritage

Start date: 23/11/2020

End date: 26/11/2020

Location: Online and live from: Amsterdam, Bucharest, Hania, Brussels, Budapest, Florence, Timisoara

Open up! is the final conference of H401’s EU project Heritage Contact Zone.
It is organised in 3 online sessions on 23, 25 and 26 November 2020.



We live in unprecedented times. Never was history and heritage so much the focus of public attention. The post-colonial discussion, revisionism over national identities, Black Lives Matter and many more strong and timely movements show how much public spaces, places of memory and the stories we tell about our histories and roots matter for the togetherness of a society and the feeling of belonging for all its members.

The conference OPEN UP! – working with contested heritage’ proposes examples of working with complex histories in a participatory manner. It will discuss the outcomes of a two-year EU funded international project that has produced the Heritage Contact Zone Toolkit.

The slogan ‘all personal is political’ could apply for these initiatives and implies that all personal memories can be politicised, for better and for worse. The question remains how we can build spaces of memory dissent for the better, in which conflict is made constructive and creativity and participation can become drivers of inclusive history-making. For a strong civil society and against exclusionary and authoritarian narratives and policies we need new tools to empower institutions and communities alike.

About the Week of working with contested heritage
The Week offers workshops, a keynote presentation with discussion and a session with policy-makers. Tune in for thought-provoking reflections about the current Zeitgeist that requires institutions and individuals to think about change. HCZ proposes a tool for that change, to open up spaces for difficult conversation about our heritage and the societies we want to live in. The Week will showcase and discuss the HCZ project’s experience with artists and activists that have worked with civil society initiatives to build ‘safe spaces’ that are open for dialogue.

Who should participate?
The Week invites artists, activists, creative producers, cultural managers and curators to engage with the project’s outcomes and bring in their own experiences in order to share and empower each other.

3 Key Moments
📍 23 November 2020, 17:30 – 20:30 hrs (CET)
🔘 Local workshops and international panel conversation

📍 25 November 2020, 19:00 – 21:00 hrs
🔘 Keynote lecture by Andrea Peto
Shame and the memory politics of illiberal states
Followed by questions from the project partner.

📍 26 November 2020, 14:00 – 16:00 hrs (CET)
🔘 Launch of Toolkit and discussion with policy makers

Check our detailed programme HERE