Displacement and Refuge in Times of War

Sat, 23.3.24, 5.00 pm Type: Event, Panel discussion Languages: English, German Location: nGbK am Alex Address: Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 11/13, 10178 Berlin Fee: free

Panel discussion with Kateryna Iakovlenko, Yassin al-Haj Saleh, and Jan Tomasz Gross

In English with simultaneous translation into German

From World War II to the war in Syria and Russia’s war against Ukraine, the panelists will share overlapping perspectives on recurring experiences of displacement and how refuge has changed over time. The present world structure keeps complaining about refugees, but it is the real generator of this global problem through deepening inequalities on levels of income, human rights, and life opportunities. Particular attention will be paid to how displacement has shaped the art scene, its non-institutional spaces as well as artist-run galleries, and transformed local communities.

Kateryna Iakovlenko is a Culture Editor-in-Chief at Ukraine’s public broadcaster, a contemporary art researcher, curator, and writer. Her publications include the book Why There Are Great Women Artists in Ukrainian Art (2019) and a special issue of Obieg Magazine on “Euphoria and Fatigue: Ukrainian Art and Society after 2014”. She has also published in e-flux and Artforum. The exhibitions she has curated include I dreamed of beasts (Labirynt Gallery, 2022-2023, with Halyna Hleba), Everyone is afraid of the baker, and I thank you (apartment exhibition, Irpin, 2022), and Our Years, Our Words, Our Losses, Our Searches, Our Us (Jam Factory, Lviv, with Natalia Matsenko and Borys Filonenko). She is co-curator of the Secondary Archive project (2022) and Secondary Archive project: Woman Artists at War (2024).

Yassin al-Haj Saleh (born 1961 in Raqqa, Syria) was a political prisoner between 1980 and 1996 for being a member in a Communist party opposing the regime of Hafez Assad. A journalist writing in newspapers and magazines in the Arab world, he also sometimes writes for English-speaking outlets. He has written seven books in Arabic about Syria, jail, contemporary Islam and Islamism, and culture. In English: The Impossible Revolution: Revolution, Civil War and the General War in Syria (Hurst, 2017), also available in French: La Question Syrienne (Actes Sud, 2016). He cofounded al Jumhuriya, a group that has been thinking and writing about Syrian affairs since March 2012. He was awarded the Prince Claus Prize in 2012 and the Swedish Pen Club Prize in 2017, as well as fellowships at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin for 2017–2018 and 2018–2019.

Jan T. Gross studies modern Europe, focusing on comparative politics, totalitarian and authoritarian regimes, Soviet and Eastern European politics, and the Holocaust. After growing up in Poland and attending Warsaw University, he immigrated to the United States in 1969 and earned a Ph.D. in sociology from Yale University (1975). His first book, Polish Society under German Occupation, appeared in 1979. Revolution from Abroad (1988) analyzes how the Soviet regime was imposed in Poland and the Baltic states between 1939 and 1941. Neighbors (2001), which was a finalist for the National Book Award, reconstructs the events that took place in July 1941 in the small Polish town of Jedwabne, where virtually every one of the town’s 1,600 Jewish residents was killed in a single day. He is also the coeditor of The Politics of Retribution in Europe: World War II and Its Aftermath (2000), and the coeditor with Irena Grudzinska-Gross of War Through Children’s Eyes (1981), which uses school compositions and other documents written by children to study how children experience war and deportation. He joined the Princeton History Department in 2003 after teaching at New York University, Emory, Yale, and universities in Paris, Vienna, and Krakow. He is Professor of History, emeritus, at Princeton University.

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