Crime Scenes and Sites of Memory

Second International Conference on Perpetrators of Mass Violence

12 – 15 NOVEMBER 2019

Mass crimes, acts of genocide and political violence posses a certain “metaphysical” dimension against the humane, as stressed by authors as diverse as Elie Wiesel and Vladimir Jankélévitch. Nevertheless, whatever their conceptual reach may be, they constitute concrete acts which occur in precise locations, happen within a unique time period and whose material actors are, ultimately, ordinary people.

 

Reconstructing the scenes resulting from said acts means returning to them the immediacy and the very banality that characterised them at the moment of their execution. However, once the events are reconstructed, those same stages take on new symbolic and cultural conditions and are resemanticised in diverse social areas: in the criminal trials that reconstruct the events, in the victims, persecutors and witnesses’ memory, in the visual and written archives that describe the events and, last but not least, in artistic, literary and cinematographic recreations.

 

 

Furthermore, these scenes are often transformed through interventions by society itself (the State, the nation, groups involved, exiles) in very different ways: through an official sanctioning or by virtue of an almost clandestine act by those directly affected; through spontaneous acts of commemoration or fleeting gestures intended as a way for the collective to pay tribute to the victims. The sacralisation of memory sites is none other than a gesture made possible in a globalised world in which violence is made more visible than ever and the appeal for reparation (at least memorial reparation) is more pronounced than at any other moment in history.

 

Under the twentieth and twenty-first century societies’ drive for commemoration, the sites where mass violence has been executed have multiplied to unexpected levels and, on occasions, have entered into competition with each other, ranging from the planned sophistication (be it intentionally convoluted or minimalist) of certain urban scenes to the brand of the “spontaneous commemoration” of the immediate mourning period in the aftermath of an attack.

 

 

This conference seeks to examine the tension produced by this double dimension (present act, commemorative future) in this era of the crime scene. Additionally, we suggest a comparative case analysis, with the objective of reaching a more thorough understanding of the “styles” of each time period, as well as the exemplifying power of the most recognised and earliest examples (in particular, the Holocaust). Following the line of research initiated in the conference Perpetrators’ Hell: Images, Narrative and Concepts (November 2017) as part of the research group «Contemporary Representations of Perpetrators of Mass Violence: Concepts, Narrative and Images» (HAR2017-83519-P), the approach to these questions has as its perspective the study of those who committee criminal acts, taking into consideration, of course, all actors involved in the scene.

 

 

We suggest the following aspects, which are not intended to be mutually exclusive, keeping in mind the perspective should be the committing of crimes: that is, their perpetration:

 

 

Spontaneous commemorations and terrorism: a 21st century wave (since 9/11).

Prisons: official and clandestine. The transformation of spaces of pain into spaces of commemoration.

 

Cemeteries as places of violence (firing squads) and places of peace and rest.

Open-air violence: The non-site and its mnemonic demarcation.

 

Mental sites reconstructed by memory, fictional or literary discourses.

 

Architectural models and minimalism: conceptualism of new monuments.

 

Material objects as present footprints: physical culture, fetishism and the fusion of time.

 

Memory tourism. Audio guides, catalogues and guided visits. The picture of a crime.

 

Photographing, filming, mapping sites.

Video library

Conference presentation and Open Conference (Christophe Busch)

Panel 1. Writing and exhibiting perpetration (António Sousa Ribeiro, Lena Seauve, Brigitte Jirku)

Panel 2. Huellas inmediatas, vestigios del crimen en el espacio público (Santiago de Pablo, Luis Veres, Cristina Sánchez-Carretero, Lior Zylberman)

Panel 3. Desaparición, perpetración y retorno (Valentina Salvi, Claudia Feld, Carolina Meloni, Jaume Peris)

Panel 4. Mass Violence and cultural Heritage (Anja Tippner, Dacia Viejo-Rose, Vicente Sánchez-Biosca, Philippe Mesnard)

Panel 5. Landscapes, Cityscapes, Traumascapes (Ana R. Calero Valera, José María Faraldo, Luba Jurgenson)

Debate de cierre. Villa Baviera: El No-Lugar (Anacleto Ferrer, Jaume Peris con Fernando Rosa)

Panel 6. Espectros: Memorias de la perpetración en España (Stéphane Michonneau, Francisco Ferrándiz, María Rosón)

Conference presentation and Open Conference (Christophe Busch)

Panel 1. Writing and exhibiting perpetration (António Sousa Ribeiro, Lena Seauve, Brigitte Jirku)

Panel 2. Huellas inmediatas, vestigios del crimen en el espacio público (Santiago de Pablo, Luis Veres, Cristina Sánchez-Carretero, Lior Zylberman)

Panel 3. Desaparición, perpetración y retorno (Valentina Salvi, Claudia Feld, Carolina Meloni, Jaume Peris)

Panel 4. Mass Violence and cultural Heritage (Anja Tippner, Dacia Viejo-Rose, Vicente Sánchez-Biosca, Philippe Mesnard)

Panel 5. Landscapes, Cityscapes, Traumascapes (Ana R. Calero Valera, José María Faraldo, Luba Jurgenson)

Debate de cierre. Villa Baviera: El No-Lugar (Anacleto Ferrer, Jaume Peris con Fernando Rosa)

Panel 6. Espectros: Memorias de la perpetración en España (Stéphane Michonneau, Francisco Ferrándiz, María Rosón)

PARTICIPANTS

Christophe Busch

Universiteit van Amsterdam

Ana R. Calero Valera

Universitat de València

José María Faraldo

Universidad Complutense de Madrid

Claudia Feld

CONICET

Francisco Ferrándiz

CCHS-CSIC

Anacleto Ferrer

Universitat de València

Isadora Guardia

Universitat de València

Brigitte Jirku

Universitat de València

Luba Jurgenson

Paris-IV Sorbonne

Carolina Meloni

Universidad Europea de Madrid

Philippe Mesnard

Centre de Recherches sur les Litteratures et la Sociopoétique

Stéphane Michonneau

Université de Lille 3

Santiago de Pablo

UPV/EHU

Jaume Peris

Universitat de València

Vicente Sánchez-Biosca

Universitat de València

António Sousa Ribeiro

Centro de Estudos Sociais da Universidade de Coimbra

Luis Veres

Universitat de València

Dacia Viejo Rose

University of Cambridge

Valentina Salvi

IDES

Cristina Sánchez Carretero

CSIC

Lena Seauve

Humbolt-Universität zu Berlin

Lior Zylberman

CONICET

Fernando Rosa

Fotógrafo

María Rosón

(English) Universitat de València

SCIENTIFIC COMMITTEE

Daniel Feierstein

CONICET

Francisco Ferrándiz

CCHS – CSIC

Dagmar von Hoff

Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

Luba Jurgenson

Paris-IV Sorbonne

Susanne Knittel

Utrecht Young Academy - Utrecht University

Sylvie Lindeperg

Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne

Eduardo Morettin

Universidade de São Paulo

António Sousa Ribeiro

Centro de Estudos Sociais da Universidade de Coimbra

ORGANIZING COMMITTEE

Enrique Andrade Martínez

COORDINATION

Anacleto Ferrer Mas

DIRECTION

Ana Giménez Calpe

COORDINATION

Brigitte Jirku

DIRECTION

Juan José Monsell Corts

COORDINATION

Violeta Ros Ferrer

COORDINATION

María Rosón Villena

COORDINATION

Vicente Sánchez Biosca

DIRECTION

Lurdes Valls Crespo

COORDINATION