Retrospect: Alumni Meeting 2023

At our Alumni Meeting from 17-20th of August in Lissabon different generations of former DailoguePespectives participants went on a journey into Portugal’s ambivalent past and present. Under the title “Lost & Found. Re-visiting Cultures of Rememberance in Lisbon” they explored (in)visible traces of colonial and Sephardic Jewish history in Lisbon and networked with European activists and multipliers who work and research on different perspectives of Portuguese and European memory culture.

This years alumni meeting has been a follow-up to the workshop “I’m now in the mirror and where am I? A reflection on the memory culture in Portugal” by Dr. Cátia Severino during the DialoguePerspectives Autumn Seminar 2021 in Potsdam, suggested by our alumnus Ben.

In workshops with Dr. Cátia Severino and Evalina Dias from the DJASS  Afrodescentes Association the participants gained insights on the traces of Lisbon`s colonial past & presence, the fights for or a Memorial for the enslaved people in Lisbon and discussed how different layers of a society may (or may not) be part of its self-narrative and how memory culture has the power to consolidate that portrait. “As an activist and an academic, being able to explore new perspectives and raise questions upon our societies is deeply unrooted in better understanding who are we and where we stand in this complex world.”, says Dr. Cátia Severino about her motivation to address these questions at the Alumni Meeting.

On a guided tour with Luciano Waldman from the Jewish Community Centre the participants were able to explore Jewish history and it’s traces in the cityscape of Lisbon. The program was rounded by a collectively prepared dinner for shabbat.

The alumni meeting in Lisbon not only enabled deeper networking within the alumni network, but also strengthened a European perspective on remembrance culture. On this occasion, a colleague from the Coalition for Pluralistic Public Discourse (CPPD) was also on site to further promote the Europeanisation of the network for remembrance culture.

Pictures: Whitney Nosakhara

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˝The programme makes possible something that is all too rare in our society these days: speaking and having discussions across borders, not about each other, but with each other. That can be a hard slog at times, but at the same time the format makes space for follow-up questions and deeper conversations that are only possible through trust on all sides.

Felix, DialoguePerspectives alumnus

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