Stories of Traumatic Pasts: Counter-Archives for Future Memories

08 October - 03 April 2021
Opening on Wednesday, 07 October at 07:00 PM
Weltmuseum Wien
Vienna, Austria

Artists: Elisabeth Bakambamba Tambwe, Lana Čmajčanin and Adela Jušić, Bojan Djordjev and Siniša Ilić, Dani Gal, Martin Krenn, Monique Mbeka Phoba, Anja Salomonowitz, Joëlle Sambi Nzeba and Nicolas Pommier, Arye Wachsmuth, Valerie Wolf Gang

Curated by Marina Gržinić

Belgian colonialism in Congo in the late nineteenth and twentieth century.
Austrian antisemitism in the twentieth century.
Turbonationalism in former Yugoslavia since the 1990s.

These three historic lines of violence and annihilation (re)enforced a process of oblivion that to this day prevents a processing of the genocides they caused. Today involuntary or performed amnesia again threatens to destroy what has already come to a point of possible coexistence. We go back to these traumatic events in history and the recent past, which had such a violent impact on communities and people, states and territories, and confront them with a system of interventions. The scars that remain after atrocities, although hidden and obliterated, are recovered through artistic, scientific, and political reflections.

The exhibition takes a critical look at three European regions, their histories, and their current experiences of collective amnesia in relation to traumatic pasts. The positions shown are interventions aimed at the present and the future and form counter-narratives against forgetting.

Stories of Traumatic Pasts is the result of the FWF research project (AR 439) Genealogy of Amnesia at the Academy of Fine Arts.

Weltmuseum Wien
Genealogy of Amnesia