International Conference Necropolis of Communist Terror

International conference

Necropolis of Communist Terror

Locating and researching burial sites, the language and form of memorials

Organisers: The Estonian Institute of Historical Memory (Tallinn, Estonia) and Memorial Research and Information Centre/Joffe Foundation (St. Petersburg, Russia)

9.-10. February 2023, Tallinn, Estonia

We kindly invite you to participate in the 2nd international conference on necropolistics. The first Necropolis of Communist Terror conference took place in 2019 in Tallinn.

In 2019, the focus was on locating and preserving the mass graves of victims of state terror.

The upcoming conference will also pay attention to the treatment of the terror experience of political regimes and its commemoration in different countries. The idea of Remembrance, Responsibility and Future is discussed.

Thursday, 9 February

09:30 Opening speech

09:45-13:00 First panel discussion. 21st century challenges

Key points

– Has the examination of 20th century humanitarian catastrophies already occurred?

– Where should the emphasis be concerning the work on memory, trauma, and history?

– Is consensus necessary with regard to historical memory?

– How does the experience of national catastrophies relate to modern memory wars?

– Why did the work on the commemoration in Russia fail to stop the war in Ukraine?

– Why did the memory of Soviet state terror fail to stop the country from becoming a terrorist state?

– How does the idea of “Remembrance, Responsibility and Future” work in different countries?

12:00-12.15 Coffee break

Discussion continues

13:00-14.15 tour of Estonia’s Victims of Communism Memorial

14:15-15:00 Lunch

15:00-18:00 Second panel discussion. The emotionality and aesthetics of commemoration: commemoration practices, language and form.

Friday, 10 February

09:00-12:45 Third panel discussion: Presentations and general overviews on the situation of memorial sites of terror in various countries.

Overview of practices regarding locating, investigating, memorialising and legally establishing burial sites of executed victims. Comparison of the experiences of different countries; summaries.

11:00-11.15 Coffee break

Discussion continues

12:45-14:00 Lunch

14:00-17:00 Fourth panel discussion. Searching for the remains terror victims, issues of identification

15.30-15.45 Coffee break

Discussion continues

17:00-17:15 Summary of the conference, closing remarks

This preliminary programme is subject to change.