DR JAN GRABOWSKI - Removing Memory one Statue at a Time: Comparing Eastern Europe and Canada
DR JAN GRABOWSKI - Removing Memory one Statue at a Time
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Member since 1986. Also listed as Producer John Carricitos.
Uploaded: 19 Nov, 2018
Recording Date: 17 Nov, 2018
Recording Location: Wentworth Villa, Victoria BC
Topical for: Timeless
Status: Raw, unedited
Program Title: DR JAN GRABOWSKI - Removing Memory one Statue at a Time: Comparing Eastern Europe and Canada
Description: Removing Memory one Statue at a Time: Comparing Eastern Europe and Canada, a special lecture contributing to the debate triggered by the recent removal of the statue of John A. Macdonald by Victoria City Council. The removal, itself contentious, was followed by reassessments of other “controversial characters” in local history whose statues may or may not deserve relocation.
Meanwhile, interest in Victoria’s local debates has transcended provincial boundaries. We are delighted to bring a guest speaker from far away: an internationally acclaimed historian and author of a dozen books translated into several languages, Professor Jan Grabowski from the University of Ottawa.
He analyzes the John A. Macdonald and similar controversies as part of a broader process of rewriting national history. Canada is not alone in struggling to reinvent itself that way. Prof. Grabowski will compare the nature and workings of the process in Canada and in Eastern Europe where it developed into true “history wars.”
In Eastern Europe, the removal of statues and monuments is largely a symbolic gesture, sanctioned by tradition and past armed conflicts. Spoils of war go to the victor including the right to reorganize the representation of the past according to the wishes of the new rulers. Canadians however, in terms of representations of the past, followed a long-standing tradition of compromise, one which is rooted in the 17th and 18th centuries. In the last decades of the 20th and in the opening years of this century we were proud to build upon these very traditions of respect. The recent removal of monuments, statues and names from the public sphere is a sign that the time of compromise and reconciliation might be over and that we enter the time of "memory wars", well known to Europeans.
Host(s): Dr. Jan Grobowski, Professor of History, University of Ottawa
Featured Speakers/Guests: Dr. Jan Grabowski is a Polish-Canadian Professor of History at the University of Ottawa, specializing in Jewish–Polish relations in German-occupied Poland during World War II and the Holocaust in Poland.
Credits: Engineer: John Fitzmaurice
Comments: Download the Program Logsheet for a transcript of the follow-up questions.
Society and CultureType: Speech/Presentation