Online panel: Symbols, conflicts and identities

Darko Gavrilović, president of the Board of Directors of the Center for History, Democracy and Reconciliation, was recently one of the speakers on the panel entitled "Symbols, conflicts and identities". The panel explores the roles and functions of hate speech and controversial symbols in (post)conflict societies.

The roles and functions of hate speech and controversial symbols in (post)conflict societies

The panel “The roles and functions of hate speech and contested symbols in (post)conflict societies” provided an insight into the ways in which conflict, memory and identity are articulated and played out in different cultural contexts.

The panelists’ presentations dealt with various manifestations of hate speech and controversial symbols , such as muralization, heroization, resistance and counter-initiatives.

Four speakers spoke on the panel. They dealt with topics related to hate speech and disputed symbols in (post)conflict societies from different perspectives.

The moderator of the panel was Katarina Damčević , PhD student and junior research associate at the Department of Semiotics, University of Tartu. Katarina works as a teaching assistant at the Center for Academic Writing and Communication. He is also a seminar facilitator and event coordinator at the University of Tartu.

Her doctoral research focuses on the semiotics of hate speech and controversial symbols in post-conflict societies.

Katarina’s research interests revolve around topics such as: language and conflict, social and political taboos, politics of memory and future studies. Katarina was previously a research associate at the Dangerous Speech Project. He is currently a research associate at the Fund for Humanitarian Law in Belgrade, Serbia.

Kathy Burger: Dangerous speech and what to do about it

Cathy Burger is director of research at the Dangerous Speech Project. She studies the relationship between speech and intergroup violence, as well as civil society responses to dangerous online hate speech. She is a research associate with the Economic and Social Rights Research Group at the University of Connecticut. He is the editor-in-chief of the magazine for human rights.

Darko Gavrilović: Prevention of genocide - Politics of reconciliation in the region of the former Yugoslavia

Darko Gavrilović is the president of the Center for History, Democracy and Reconciliation from Novi Sad, Serbia. He is a full professor at the Department of Geography at the University of Novi Sad. In addition to numerous books, he publishes articles on Croatian-Serbian political relations , political faith and reconciliation policy in the former Yugoslavia.

He is the co-editor of the book “Political Myths in the Former Yugoslavia and Successor States. A Shared Narrative” (Republic of Papers – IHJR, 2011).

Michael Cole: Calm before the storm - Ukraine's cultural resistance to Russia before February 2022

Michael Cole is a PhD student at the University of Tartu, Estonia. He is an early stage researcher in the Marie Curie Horizon 2020 project “Fatigue”.

His doctoral dissertation examines Russia’s influence on far-right populist discourses in Georgia and Ukraine. Michael’s research interests include the relationship between football and far-right politics and visual expressions of nationalism and identity in popular culture. Michael was previously Head of Doctoral Fellows at the Center for Analysis of the Radical Right (CARR). He wrote for them about the relationship between football and far-right politics in Poland and Georgia.

Vjeran Pavlaković: Muralization of war - identity, memory and graffiti in post-conflict societies

Vjeran Pavlaković is a full professor at the Department of Cultural Studies at the University of Rijeka, Croatia. He received his doctorate in history in 2005. at the University of Washington.

He publishes articles on the culture of memory, transitional justice in the former Yugoslavia and Yugoslav volunteers in the Spanish Civil War.

He is the co-editor of the book Framing the Nation and Collective Identities in Croatia (Routledge, 2019). The book was reissued in Croatian in 2022. He was the leading researcher on the Memoriscapes project as part of the Rijeka European Capital of Culture 2020. and co-founder of the Cres summer school on transitional justice and the politics of memory, as well as a researcher for Rijeka/Fiume in Fluk.

The panel provided a significant contribution to the understanding of the complex processes taking place in (post)conflict societies. He emphasized the importance of developing inclusive narratives and sustainable solutions.

He also pointed out that disputed symbols and hate speech, although often present in such societies, are important expressions of the identity and cultural heritage of certain communities. Their deconstruction should be part of the process of reconciliation and building inclusive societies.

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