Stories of Traumatic Pasts. Counter-Archives for Future Memories

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at Weltmuseum Wien

8 October 2020 to 3 April 2021

The exhibition Stories of Traumatic Pasts: Counter-Archives for Future Memories focuses on three European regions, their stories, and their current experiences of collective amnesia in relation to traumatic events from the past: Belgian colonial rule in the Congo, Austria after the “Anschluss” in 1938, and the denial of war crimes since 1990 after the breakup of Yugoslavia.

Participating artists

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

Posters and works developed by students of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna


Curated by Marina Gržinić, Christina Jauernik, Sophie Uitz

Weltmuseum Wien
Heldenplatz, 1010 Vienna
Tel. +43 1 534 30-5052

Opening hours
Open daily, except Wednesdays, 10 am to 6 pm
Late Fridays until 9 pm: 30 October, 27 November

CATALOGUE: Stories of Traumatic Pasts Colonialism, Antisemitism, and Turbo-Nationalism

Edited by Marina Gržinić, Jovita Pristovšek, Sophie Uitz, and Christina Jauernik

Hatje Cantz, Berlin, Germany; Weltmuseum Wien, Austria; Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Austria; Peek Project No. AR 439-G24/IBK, 2020, ISBN 978-3-7757-4884-1, 204pp.

Published on the occasion of the exhibition Stories of Traumatic Pasts: Counter-Archives for Future Memories, at Weltmuseum Wienfrom 8 October 2020 to 3 April 2021.

About the catalogue

Belgian colonialism in the Congo. Antisemitism in Austria. Turbo-nationalism in former Yugoslavia. Over the last two centuries, 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.