Memories of terror: Can history make sense of terrorist acts?

August 31, 2005

'How to make sense out of terrorist acts?' will be considered at an international conference organised by Cardiff University's School of European Studies (September 15-17).

Conference organiser Professor Gerrit-Jan Berendse, Cardiff School of European Studies said "Since terrorism emerged in modern times it has occupied academics in the task of describing, defining and analysing the origins and effects of numerous politically motivated and vicious incidents. Europe, a continent under siege in the 1970s, offers an excellent case study."

The conference "Cultural Memory of German Left-Wing Terrorism" challenges established views of left-wing terrorism in Germany 1970 - 1998, by examining new evidence published in so-called "memory texts". These include diaries, letters and interviews from unheard voices of those once actively involved in terrorist actions.

The conference will further examine how these voices have been presented in modern German culture, including plays, novels, music and film as a way of coming to terms with this period of Germany's past.

Keynote speakers, Dr Gerd Koenen (historian and author) and Andres Veiel (film director) are currently adapting a book by Koenen about terrorism in Germany in the 1970s to film. In conjunction with the conference, Cardiff's Chapter Arts Centre will screen four films by Andres Veiel, Balagan (1993), The Survivors (1996), Black Box Germany (2001) and Addicted to Acting (2004).

Cardiff University

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