International Conference on Contemporary European Migration History, May 11–13, Berlin Wall Memorial (Visitor Center, Bernauer Straße 119)
The Impossible Order. Europe, Power, and the Search for a New Migration Regime
Since the end of the Cold War migration within and to Europe has changed fundamentally. As a response, the EU has developed a system that sharply distinguishes between internal freedom of movement and harsh isolation against the outside. This is far from a feasible, let alone humane, migration order. The ‘Iron Curtain’ morphed into ‘Fortress Europe,’ an image of similar brutality and paradoxical instability.
The conference will address the search for a comprehensive migration regime in Europe over the last three decades. It focuses on the dynamic caused by the tension between the political will to establish order and control on the one hand, and creative human action that disrupts such attempts on the other. Migration always confirms prevalent power structures as much as it challenges them. Meanwhile, the debates and decisions on migration in Europe do not only change the migration processes but also the Europe that we know. The never-ending search for a European migration regime also is the never-ending search for a new European identity.
International migration researchers, journalists, historians, artists, activists and students will discuss the contemporary history of the search, at a historical site, the Berlin Wall Memorial. An exhibition of migrant and refugee students from Bard College Berlin and the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna, will frame the discussions.
The Conference is organized by the Center for Contemporary History, Potsdam, and supported by the Federal Agency for Political Education, the Andrea von Braun Foundation, The Berlin Wall Memorial and Bard College Berlin. It also cooperates with the American Academy in Berlin, the Centre Marc Bloch and the Institute for Migration and Intercultural Studies, Osnabrück.
The Conference will be held in English and German, and there will be simultaneous translation.
Here, on the website of Zeitgeschichte-online, you will find biographical information and quotes dedicated to the Conference by the participants, plus audiovisual recordings and a blog written by students from Bard College Berlin, Humboldt University and University Potsdam on the individual panels, in English or German.