Dear friends and colleagues,
The Institute for Democracy, Media and Culture (IDMC) and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS) invite you to the 8th edition of MEMORY DAYS that will be organized on 18–28 February 2023. This year the focus will be on the different experiences of former communist countries in dealing with the past. The Baltic countries, for example, have been considered successful for investigating and punishing the crimes of communism, but above all for creating adequate memory policies. Their firm attitude towards totalitarian regimes, Nazism and Stalinism, is considered one of the key factors of their rapid integration into the European Union (EU) since 2004.
Under the motto: "Dealing with the Past in Comparative Perspective – Lessons (not) Learned", especially one year after Russia's aggression against Ukraine, the topic of dealing with the communist past remains more relevant than ever. If the collective memory policies had been effective and if the decommunization process had been implemented, we would not have these authoritarian tendencies that are encountered today in many former communist countries in Europe. The most typical country for not confronting the past is authoritarian Belarus, where the opposition has been forced abroad, creating a government-in-exile led by Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya. Ukraine, on the other hand, was among the first countries to carry out the process of decommunization (de-Sovietization), considering the communist past as one of the fundamental instruments that Russia could use against it. And Russia's unprecedented attack on February 24, 2022 proved him right. Would we have a war against Ukraine if the Russian society had completed the decommunization process? Probably not. But the fact is that even in 2023, countries that have not faced their past risk repeating the patterns of past authoritarian regimes. Above all, they are an open threat to peace and human rights everywhere in the world.
The analysis of the factors that have influenced the implementation of memory policies in different countries, the path that these countries have taken, their commonalities and features in different aspects compared to Albania, the advantages and disadvantages of the models followed, will be in center of MEMORY DAYS 2023 activities. On the occasion of the official opening of Albania's EU membership negotiations (July 2022), it is important to analyze how memory policies influence the strengthening of the common values of the European community, such as: human dignity, tolerance, freedom, equality and solidarity.
MEMORY DAYS is an annual activity that aims to keep alive the social debate and memory on the consequences of the communist regime in Albania and is organized by the Institute for Democracy, Media and Culture in partnership with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation and other memory institutions in the country and abroad, since October 2016.
The activities during the DAYS OF MEMORY aim to raise the awareness of the Albanian society about the consequences of the crimes of the dictatorship and to strengthen the dialogue on the past through debates, presentations of the newest publications on the dictatorship, exhibitions, international conferences, documentary screenings, etc.
In continuation of our tradition of cooperation, as in previous editions, we invite all organizations and institutions operating in the field of memory, public and non-public, museums and local and international memory initiatives, associations of former political persecuted, study centers etc., to become part of this edition.