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11 Borderlands;

We often remember history in an idealised way, glossing over complexities and choosing to forget uncomfortable narratives. It is challenging to remain critical of our past. Many public displays that are employed for memorialising our history do so by presenting it as a simplified story of opposing differences between identities. The danger is that these differences can, under the wrong circumstances, become the trenches of future conflicts.

A critical way of remembering is essential to ensure that mistakes of the past do not get repeated. We need to challenge existing conventions of how public memory is formed through monuments and events.

With Borderlands, the international Masters Artist Educator (iMAE) initiated a community art project around rituals of remembrance in the contested domains of historical conflicts. In Arnhem, the Borderlands project focused on a critical commemoration of the Second World War and Arnhem’s yearly celebration of freedom. Working within and listening to Arnhem’s communities, our students aim to present ‘quiet memorials’ through various collaborative art projects. The underpinning intention of Borderlands is to negotiate the past in the present and build critical reflection in communities around issues of freedom, war, and peace.

Borderlands’ projects engage with schools, elderly homes, social or cultural organisations, and educational organisations such as Erfgoed Gelderland.

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