UNREST: the Kobarid/Caporetto Museum: a meeting place for all nations?

Friday 21 April, 11.00–12.30

UNREST (Unsettling Remembering and Social Cohesion in Transnational Europe): the Kobarid/Caporetto Museum: a meeting place for all nations?

Seminar organised by Anna Bull and Marianna Deganutti (Bath)

In the first part of the seminar Anna Bull will present the project UNREST (Unsettling Remembering and Social Cohesion in Transnational Europe, www.unrest.eu), which addresses Europe’s pressing memory problem. Despite the EU deriving its legitimacy from the idea of transnational reconciliation, populist and nationalist movements are challenging the official EU narrative. UNREST proposes to fill the perilous vacuum between top-down cosmopolitan EU memory and bottom-up, antagonistic right-wing memory, providing a third memory way, which engages with memory discontent without losing the fundamental EU ideals. This third way is called agonistic memory and designates a new mode of remembrance which embraces political conflict as an opportunity for emotional and ethical growth. UNREST focuses on different settings, such as Mass Grave Exhumations and War Museums.

The second part of the seminar will be given by Marianna Deganutti, who will focus on a specific case-study, the Kobarid Museum in Slovenia, that was opened in 1990, one year before the Slovene independence. This museum displays the events that occurred during World War I on the Isonzo Front with a special focus on the last battle, that marked a crushing Austro-Hungaro-German victory over the Italian forces. Despite conveying a strong anti-war message, Kobarid Museum, that is located at the crossroad between three different civilizations, may fuel contrasting memories. By taking into account the analysis of the books of comments written by Italian and Slovene visitors, the idea of Kobarid museum as a meeting place for all nations will be tested.