20221213_the activist museum_event

13 December, Tuesday, from 7pm to 8pm (Lisbon time)
Online, on Zoom
Recording of the debate

We recently read news about the creation of the Virtual Museum of the Spanish Civil War. Its founder, Antonio Cazorla-Sanchez, told the Guardian that “while there is a wealth of excellent historical research and material on the war, much of it has not been properly transmitted to the general public. Old enmities, decades of silence, and cursory approaches to teaching schoolchildren about the war and its aftermath mean partisan attitudes, binary analyses and political distortions continue to this day.”

We seem to value memory so much, and yet Spain was under a pact of forgetting (depicted with such intensity in the documentary “The Silence of Others”, produced by Pedro Almodóvar). What brought this consensus and how has it affected the Spanish society? And what about Greece, another European country that went through a civil war, in the 1940s? How do countries and nations deal with recent and traumatic pasts that still divide and polarise them? What is the role of academics, school teachers and museum professionals in dealing with those pasts? Are we allowed to forget?

We invited Antonio Cazorla-Sanchez, founder and co-director of the Virtual Museum of the Spanish Civil War; Fenia Lekka, research historian and museum director; and Kiki Sakka, teacher of history, for a conversation around these and other questions related to their countries’ traumatic pasts.

Registration form


Antonio Cazorla-Sanchez is Professor of History, Department of History, Trent University. He is the author of ten books and dozens of chapters in books and articles, mostly in Spanish and English. He teaches a graduate course on Political Violence and Historical Memory in museums, and undergraduate courses on European History, Fascism and the Spanish Civil War. He is a frequent contributor to numerous international newspapers and TV series on these subjects. In 2020 he was the recipient of Trent University Distinguished Researcher Award. He is founder and co-director of the Virtual Museum of the Spanish Civil War (2022).

Fenia Lekka is a museum professional and research historian. She studied Archeology in the University of Ioannina (Western Thessaly, Greece, 1992) and Museology at in the Hochschule für Technik, Wirtschaft und Kultur Leipzig (Gernany, 1997). Her PhD. Thesis (Department of History-Archaeology-Social Anthropology, University of Thessaly, Faculty of History 2016), focuses on economic and social history, microhistory and material culture. She is the scientific director of the City Museum of the Municipality of Karditsa (2003), as well as of the Network of Historical and Ethnographic Museums of the prefecture of Karditsa (2009). She has taught Museum Documentation, Museum Exhibition Practices, Museology and Cultural Management (Museum Education, University of Thessaly, School of Plastic Arts, University of Ioannina, DCCM+I University of Thessaly). She currently teaches at the Department of Culture, Creative Media & Industries of the University of Thessaly.

Vassiliki Sakka studied History and Archaeology (University of Athens-E.K.P.A.). She has a Masters Degree in History Didactics (E.K.P.A.) and a PhD in History and Adult Education (University of Peloponnese, Social and Educational Policy Department). She worked as a history and language teacher in secondary education and as a teacher trainer and school consultant. She also worked as an expert, producing History Curricula for secondary education (2011, 2018) and educational material, as well as a lecturer at Hellenic Open University (Masters Program: Public History). Fields of interest: educational research (attitudes and beliefs of history teachers, history teacher training), oral history, visual literacy, holocaust education, public history. She was a board member and president of Euroclio –European Association of History Educators (2006-2012). Currently she is Europeana Association Member Council and president of the Association for History Education in Greece
(www.aheg.gr). E-mail: vassilikisakka@gmail.com