It was the third time that our project and expert/research team met, after the first workshop in Sarajevo in October 2022 and the first conference in Berlin in May this year. As we are now at the halfway point of our project, this second workshop, held in Nice on July 8-9, 2023, was an important moment to clarify where we stand, to work on the three planned outputs and to prepare the next conference.
What is our understanding of resistance? We discussed this question at the beginning of the workshop, and in order to better grasp differences and similarities between and within our countries, we made an exercise on three key terms related to the history and memory of resistance against Nazism, fascism, occupation and collaboration during World War 2, “antifascism”, “liberation” and “resistance”, discussing what these terms mean in our different languages and societies.
A main task of this 2nd workshop was to work on the three complementary outputs which will be realized until the end of the project and which will be presented at the final conference in Sarajevo in July 2024:
- the scientific publication
- the digital platform with 100 stories of resistance
- the exhibition at the History Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
For the exhibition and the digital platform, we started working on their general concept and possible content: We first discussed together both topics so that everyone could bring in their ideas and questions, and then deepened the work in parallel teams. We now have a common basis for the exhibition and the platform, which we will continue to work on up to and during the next workshop in December of this year. As for the publication, we already have a structure and a table of contents that will contain 30 texts in 7 chapters, following the Open Call for papers we organized at the beginning of the year. The authors are currently working on their texts and will send them to the project team by November 2023.
The workshop took place in the premises of CIFE, Centre International de Formation Européenne, the French cooperation partner in our project.
As for each of our meetings, it was also important for us to discover more about the local history and memory of the resistance during World War 2, which we did with a city walk in Nice following different memorial plaques. During the city walk, the project and expert team followed the traces of the history and memory of resistance against Italian and German occupation during World War 2.
The memory walk was organised by Yvan Gastaut, lecturer at the University of Nice and at CIFE, and member of our expert/research team. Among many spots, we stopped at the place in the city center where in July 1944 the resistants Ange Grassi and Séraphin Torrin were publicly hanged by the German occupation forces.
At the end of the visit, we were joined on our tour by Jean-Marc Giaume, historian and deputy mayor of Nice, who had initiated 30 years ago the “circuit de la mémoire” (path of memory). Each year, on the 28th of August, a commemorative walk of more than six hours is organised, passing all plaques with the names of 34 persons who were killed on this day while fighting for the liberation of Nice, and which are situated at 24 different spots of the town.
We look forward to returning to Nice for our 2nd conference in October. During this next conference, the panels will focus on the transmission of the history of resistance after 1945, especially in museums. Furthemore we plan an excursion to the Memorial-Museum Camp des Milles nearby Aix-en-Provence, one of the most important memory sites related to World War 2 in the region.
You will find the detailed program of the Nice Workshop here: Program 2nd workshop Nice