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Workshops & Conventions


The research plans and projects of the Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies (VWI) require continuous discussion and in-depth academic consideration and fine-tuning.


The VWI workshops provide a forum for the in-depth discussion of the core research areas of the institute. These are determined by the International Academic Advisory Board in its position paper and in its recommendations, while the VWI also independently elaborates, formulates, and executes themes, ideas, and concepts. Externals experts are also frequently involved in the conceptualisation of workshops, with their academic institutions then moreover serving as partner organisations in the concrete event.


The format employed since 2011 – the date of the first VWI workshop – of employing a range of presentations partly solicited through a Call for Papers and partly through invitations extended to renowned experts for individual panels or as keynotes has proven most productive.


Beyond this, the VWI also involves itself financially or in content and organisation with various conferences which correlate with the profile of the institute.



Accessing Campscapes: Inclusive Strategies for Using European Conflicted Heritage

Wednesday, 16. October 2019, 09:15 - 19:30

Vienna Wiesenthal Institute, Research Lounge 1010 Vienna, Rabensteig 3, 3rd Floor


In most postwar European countries, former Nazi campscapes have become icons of antifascist resistance and the Holocaust, and they have played a consistent role in postwar European memory of totalitarianism and genocide. In Western European countries, former camps have been reused by postcolonial migrants and other refugee groups. In the Eastern European centre of the Holocaust and Stalinist terror, many former camps are still contested spaces where consecutive internments of prisoners by occupying powers and political regimes transformed the victims of one event into the persecutors of another. This entanglement of remembering with forgetting, along with the silencing of competing narratives, shows the strong connection between heritage, storytelling and the politics of identity, posing a serious challenge to museums, remembrance institutions, civil society organizations, social activists, critical academics and educators tasked with the development of new and alternative narratives to make such spaces ever more relevant.

The cultural, political and material dynamics of former camps in Europe was investigated within the framework of iC-ACCESS, drawing from interdisciplinary research perspectives in historical, heritage and memory studies, forensics, archaeology and material culture studies, and digital humanities. We have explored what has become, in the European context, a dominant set of issues: the dynamics affecting the staging and presentation of some Holocaust camps into heritage, and the forgetting of others; the acknowledgement and presentation of Stalinist campscapes in Eastern Europe; dissonant heritage and competing memories, and simmering ethnic/regional tensions from the past, exacerbated by the present EU crisis affecting the identity and future of the European integration project. iC-ACCESS has addressed the role of the campscapes as monuments of the ‘20th century of camps’ in an age of transnationalization, digitization, and migration.

At the conference, we will present the results of research carried out between 2016 and 2019 at key campscapes across Europe: Westerbork (The Netherlands), Treblinka (Poland), Falstad (Norway), Jasenovac/Donja Gradina (Croatia/Republika Srpska), Bergen-Belsen (Germany), the former Roma camp at Lety (Czech Republic), former uranium labour camps in the Jáchymov region (Czech Republic), the former Holocaust site at Maly Trostenets (Belarus) and the Civil War camp Castuera (Spain). The conference will spotlight the role of testimonies in increasing accessibility and visibility for visitors to such sites, explore new technologies of VR/AR reality to 3/4D mapping and connect competing memories on campscapes, and focus on contested political, narrative and material dynamics at and around campscapes.

This HERA-JPI project has been a collaboration between the University of Amsterdam, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology Trondheim, the Staffordshire University, the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen, Freie Universität Berlin and the Institute for Bioengineering in Barcelona. The project was carried out in collaboration with associate partners: Bergen Belsen Memorial, Camp Westerbork Memorial Centre, the Museum of Struggle and Martyrdom in Treblinka, Falstad Memorial and Human Rights Centre, Jasenovac Memorial Museum, Postbellum, the Museum of Roma Culture, and the Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies (VWI), and profited from the support of companies such as UCL Scanlab, Eodyne Systems, VU Spinlab, and Calibro.

Places are limited and registration is required. Please confirm your attendance via email by Tuesday 13 October 2019: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
Please note ID is required upon arrival.

Programme (PDF):

9:15-9:30 Welcome
(Prof. Éva Kovács and Prof. Rob van der Laarse)

9:30-11:00 Session 1: Presentation of iC-ACCESS Research Results: Narrating, Experiencing and Representing Campscapes
Campscapes as Contested Sites and Narratives – Prof. Rob van der Laarse (University of Amsterdam)
Lived Stories: Testimonies and Campscapes – Dr. Cord Pagenstecher (Freie University of Berlin)
Digital Representation of iC-ACCESS Research Results – Matteo Azzi (Calibro) and Dana Dolghin (University of Amsterdam)
Chair and Commentator: Prof. Nanci Adler (NIOD, University of Amsterdam)


11:00-11:15 Coffee break

11:15-12:45 Session 2: Presentation of iC-ACCESS Research Results: Materiality, Archaeology, and Digital Representations of Campscapes
Materiality of Camps and Uncovering of the Invisible – Prof. Marek Jasinski (Trondheim University of Science and Technology)
Mapping Campscapes – Prof. Caroline Sturdy Colls (Staffordshire University)
Digitality: Recovering Campscapes – Prof. Paul Verschure (Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia)
Chair and Commentator: Dr. Gilly Carr (University of Cambridge)


12:45-13:45 Lunch break

13:45-15:15 Session 3: Exploring Contemporary Landscape of Contested Campscapes
Anne-Lise Bobeldijk (NIOD, University of Amsterdam)
Dr. Laura Muñoz Encinar (University of Amsterdam, University of Extremadura)
Maria Mikaelyan (Polytechnic University of Milan)
Dr. Gilly Carr (University of Cambridge)
Chair and Commentator: Prof. Roma Sendyka (Jagiellonian University in Krakow)


15:15:15:30 Coffee break

15:30-17:00 Session 4: Associate Partners: Site Specific Projects and Developments
Falstad Centre for Human Rights – Christian Wee
Bergen Belsen Memorial Museum – Stephanie Billib
Jasenovac Memorial Museum – Dr. Andriana Bencic
Camp Westerbork Remembrance Centre – Bas Kortholt and Jitte Waagen
Lety Memorial Site – Prof. Pavel Vařeka (University of West Bohemia)
Chair and Commentator: Dr. Zuzanna Dziuban (Austrian Academy of Sciences)

17:30-19:00 Accessing Campscapes: Artistic Responses
Presentation of and panel discussion around an art project by Michael Branthwaite with
Éva Kovács (VWI), Pavel Vařeka (iC-ACCESS), Rob van der Laarse (iC-ACCESS), Caroline Sturdy Colls (iC-ACCESS), and Csaba Szilágyi (Central European University, Open Society Archives)

iC-ACCESS has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 649307.

Project website: 

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The Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies (VWI) is funded by:


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