2022.05.25: International Workshop on Archives, Democracy and Civil Society

The Workshop takes place in Berlin, Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient

The conservation of the archives of all decision-making processes is part of the core duties of the exercize of power. It’s function is both internal, as administrations always need to keep a trace of their own actions and external, as other eyes might wish to consult traces of decisions. This function also has various temporalities: immediate for the coordination of services and future under the form of archives for reference, documentation, contestation, recourse or historical research. The possibility for people to have access to such resources is one of the main pillars of democracy and is the object of strong debates as for its modalities, practicalities and legitimate limitations.

The object of this workhop is to reflect on such issues from the combined points of views of historical research, archives conservation and debates on the nature of democracy. Archives and the functioning of conservation apparatuses, from medieval Islam, the Ottoman Empire, colonial powers to independent States, but also various European contexts in a comparative perspective, are taken into consideration and interpreted according to questionings pertaining to accessibility, transparency, openess, or sometimes the organized lack thereof. The aim is to reflect on the link between archival conservation and civil society.

In order to reflect on the complex interaction between various temporalities, the concept of historicity is proposed as a tool for decyphering what was at stake around the archives, their degree of openess, their state of conservation and the conditions of their critical interpretation in each cultural and temporal configuration examined, as well as in present times. As for present times, the question of digitalisation, open-source and open-access will also be examined.

Programme:

9h00: Welcoming Words by Prof. Ulrike Freitag, Director of the Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient

9h15: Introduction by Nora Lafi (HISDEMAB project leader): “Archives and the Question of Democracy: Between Historical Research and Civil Society”

9h30-12h00, Session 2: Digital Heritage between Conservation and Democracy. Chair: Canay Șahin ( Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient, Berlin )

Erol Ülker ( Işık University and Türkiye Sosyal Tarih Araştırma Vakfı, Istanbul)

Sibel Servet Sular (Kadın Eserleri Kütüphanesi ve Bilgi Merkezi Vakfı, Istanbul), translation by Elisabeth Kimmerle (Leibniz-IEG Potsdam, HISDEMAB)

Stefania Piersanti (Director of the Archivio di Stato di Venezia)

Alisher Karabaev (Librarian and Archivist at Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient, Berlin) and Thomas Ripper (Chief Librarian and Archivist, Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient, Berlin)

12h00-13h00 Lunch at ZMO

13h00-14h00, Session 1: European Archival Resources and the study of the Orient. Chair: Abdul Hameed Al-Kayyali (Institut français du Proche-Orient, Amman)

Feras Kremsti (Curator of the Oriental Manuscript Collection, Gotha Research Library, Gotha)

Dima Dayoub (Coordinator of the Syrian Heritage Archive Project; Documenting the built Heritage catalogue of Aleppo at the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin)

14h-15h00, Session 3: Archives and the Question of Democratic Transitions. Chair: Robin Schmahl (Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient, HISDEMAB)

Hedi Jallab (Director of the Archives nationales de Tunisie)

Sophia Hoffmann (Universität Erfurt and leader of the research programme Learning Intelligence: The Exchange of Secret Service Knowledge between Germany and the Arab Middle East 1960 – 2010 at Leibniz-ZMO)

15h00-15h30: Final Roundtable

16:30: visit of Stasi Archives in Berlin

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