23 January 2017 | Projects

Accessing Campscapes: Inclusive Strategies for Using European Conflicted Heritage

iC-ACCESS is led by European Culture and Identity Theme Leader Rob van der Laarse and examines how spaces for remembering violence and conflict can be either unanimously supported (Nazi camps) or very much contested (Eastern European Communist terror).

Accessing Campscapes: Inclusive Strategies for Using European Conflicted Heritage’ (iC-ACCESS) looks at traces of the 20th century mass violence and terror, as tangible reminders of the “age of extremes” and their present uses in (trans)national contexts. In most post-war European countries former Nazi internment camps have become icons of antifascist resistance and the Holocaust, and they have played a consistent role in postwar European memory of totalitarianism and genocide. In the Eastern European centre of the Holocaust and Communist terror, many former ‘terrorscapes’ are still contested spaces where consecutive internments of prisoners by occupying powers and authoritarian regimes transformed the victims of one event into the persecutors of another. This entanglement of remembering with forgetting and the silencing of competing narratives (commonplace in relation to completely unknown forms of historical injustice) show the strong connection between heritage, storytelling and the politics of identity. This poses a serious challenge to museums, remembrance institutions, civil society organizations, social activists, critical academics and educators tasked with the development of new and alternative narratives to make such spaces ever more relevant.

Project participants

  • University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway
  • Staffordshire University, United Kingdom
  • University of West-Bohemia, Czech Republic
  • Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain


3 years


 Humanities European Research Area (HERA) grant.

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