French historian Benjamin Stora will be visiting Luxembourg on 14 June to discuss the difficulties of dealing with France’s colonial past with author Alexis Jenni. This public event will be held at 7 p.m. at Neumünster Abbey, and is being organised by the Institute Pierre Werner in collaboration with the Key Area MIS.
Despite the colossal work accomplished by historians in the field of postcolonial studies over the past two decades, French society still appears to struggle to teach and pass on its colonial history: memories regarding this period do not yet seem to have been appeased.
As a result, today we are seeing a new type of memory partitioning which takes the form of a communitisation of memory, with some historians even talking of a ‘colonial fracture’.
In order to construct a shared, appeased history despite its weight of contradictions, we still need to return to this colonial past which can only be calmly identified by taking stock – in other words by confronting, discussing and understanding it, a process enabling us to better weight the issues of the modern world.
In order to achieve a better understanding of this silence, this occultation, this self-censorship of colonial memory, the source of numerous identity crises, IPW and the Key Area MIS are presenting a dialogue between a novelist and a historian – Alexis Jenni and Benjamin Stora – who recently co-authored a work on the topic of Dangerous Memories (Éditions Albin Michel).
Their dialogue is an invitation to join a decisive cultural fight to break away from the violence and ‘fracture’ of memories and ultimately successfully confront the issues of the present by calmly taking account of history. These two men thus offer a better understanding of current cultural tensions, compounded by the Paris attacks in January and November 2015.
Organised by the Institute Pierre Werner in partnership with the Key Research Area MIS – Multilingualism and Intercultural Studies (University of Luxembourg)
With the support of Neumünster Abbey
Tuesday 14 June 2016 | 7 p.m. | Neumünster Abbey
In French | €10 / €5 | Tickets: +352 26 20 20 52-444