Transition Talk: “Crystal Swan” Film Screening and Public Discussion

On Friday, 5th May 2023, we hosted a special screening of the film “Crystal Swan” at the Humboldt Forum in Berlin in collaboration with the international research group “Reconstituting Publics through Remembering Transitions”. This was part of our Transition Talks: a series of dialogic remembrance events designed to critically engage with the 1980-1990s transition period on local and transnational scales.

The film’s protagonist, Evelina, guides us through the tumultuous Belarusian transition period, and the film served as a powerful stimulus for our subsequent discussion, which delved into various themes of transformation, and examined in particular topics as the role of gender, violence, the different experiences of transition in urban vs. rural areas, among others.

This event was the second in a series of similar public forums, following its first successful iteration in Gdansk. Our events aim to foster dialogic remembering and cultivate transnational connections. Future events are scheduled in Lodz (Poland) and Eisenhüttenstadt (Germany) as we continue to expand our scope and outreach.

We would like to express our gratitude to Andrei Zavadski from Dortmund Technical University and Nora Korte from the Transition Dialogue Network, who led this event’s discussion. Their expertise and perspective helped to guide an interesting exchange on Belarusian, German and internationalexperiences of political change and its lasting memory.

As part of our practice-oriented research, we are actively engaged in developing recommendations for organizing dialogic remembrance events and for facilitating discussions about transformation. We focus on connecting fragmented and disconnected publics, aiming to create spaces where the voices and feelings of diverse social groups are heard and acknowledged. We explore strategies that promote critical thinking and foster dialogue beyond national frameworks, addressing structural silences, and creating public spaces for mutual listening and potentially developing new narratives.

We are grateful to the Federal Agency for Civic Education for their support, as well as the Humboldt Forum for providing a great location for such a thought-provoking event.

We encourage those who could not attend this time to join us for future discussions. Stay tuned for more updates on our forthcoming events and workshops.