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International Workshop
10 listopad 2017

On 10 November 2017, the Center for Urban History will host an international workshop "Placeless/Placeness: Ideas of Rights and Justice in Eastern Europe." 


The workshop is inspired by recent studies and publications on two legal thinkers and lawyers, Raphael Lemkin and Hersch Lauterpacht, both of whom are connected to the city of Lemberg/Lwów/Lviv as presented in the book East West Street by Philippe Sands. The workshop will conceive of Lviv and of the lives of Hersch Lauterpacht and Rafael Lemkin as a point of departure for a conversation on the manner in which places and personal experiences have influenced the development of international law, and how ideas of justice and rights in the international context have manifested themselves in local or transnational, liberal or illiberal contexts throughout Eastern Europe. We will explore the ways in which legal concepts and practices of rights and justice were shaped, emerged and put into practice in twentieth-century Eastern Europe. This region is known for its cultural, linguistic and ethnic diversity, for contested political visions, moving borders, and violent experiences of war and civil conflicts, but it is also known for the continual reconstruction of political and private lives in the aftermath of war and conflict, including the manifold memories of these radical experiences.

Thus, the workshop's first focus will be on the post-1918 period, in particular on how concepts of rights were articulated and manifested both in the context of and in response to the disintegration of imperial systems, the emergence of new states and regimes, and the numerous and often violent remaking of societies in Eastern Europe after the First World War. The workshop's second focus will be on the aftermath of the Second World War, in particular on locally contingent practices and understandings of "justice." This will include investigations into neglected or forgotten aspects of the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, but it will also include the history of the countless domestic criminal trials that took place in towns and cities across Eastern Europe after the Second World War. The program will also include a roundtable on the connection between personal biography, place, and law and conclude with a public panel discussion on current challenges to rights and justice in Eastern Europe. The workshop will bring together scholars from the fields of history, law, international law, and intellectual history. Among confirmed participants are: Markiyan Bem (European Court of Human Rights), Kateryna Busol (Global Rights Compliance), Franziska Exeler (Cambridge University / Free University in Berlin), Douglas Irvin-Erickson (GMU), Pieter Lagrou and Ornella Rovetta (Université Libre de Bruxelles), Louisa McClintock (Columbia University), Reut Paz (Giessen University), William Pomeranz (Kennan Institute), Philippe Sands (University College London), Mira Siegelberg (Queen Mary, University of London), Iryna Sklokina (Center for Urban History), Stefan Troebst (Leipzig University), and Natasha Wheatley (University of Sydney), Lori Damrosch (Columbia University), Sean Murphy (George Washington University), Gerry Simpson (London School of Economics and Political Science).

This workshop is a part of the extended program "Rights, Justice, and Memories of Lviv" (November 9-11, 2017) that will include book presentation, unveiling of memorial plaques and art performance "East/West Street. A Song of Good and Evil" by Philippe Sands with leading actress Katja Riemann, Laurent Naouri (bass baritone) and Guillaume de Chassy (piano). It offers a personal exploration of the conflict and connections between three different men – Hersch Lauterpacht, Raphael Lemkin, and Hans Frank – through images, narrative, and music excerpts from Bach, Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, Paul Mizraki and Leonard Cohen. The art and commemorative program is supported by the Lviv City Council.

Bridging academic discussions with public art performance makes it possible to raise the issue of multiple, contested, and intersecting memories, especially memories of trauma – wars, civil violence, the Holocaust, expulsions, and persecution – and to articulate them within contemporary contexts and with contemporary audiences. Such memories are closely connected to many cities in Eastern and Central Europe. Here, the main focus will be on the city known historically as Lemberg/Lwów/Lviv, a place where legacies of the twentieth century are not just palpable through the city's spaces and buildings, but also present in multiple individual memories and family stories that can be found in countless places globally. We hope that this will contribute to growing awareness and critical reflections on Lviv's past.

Conveners: Sofia Dyak (Center for Urban History, Lviv), Franziska Exeler (University of Cambridge and Free University Berlin), Philippe Sands (University College London).

Organized by the Center for Urban History of East Central Europe in partnership with the Centre for International Courts and Tribunals (University College London)

Supported by the Department of Culture, Lviv City Council, Kennan Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Center, DC, and Law School of the Ukrainian Catholic University

Photo by: Arne Hyckenberg. From the performance "A Song of Good and Evil," Stockholm, Berwardhallen, January 2015.