Essay contest and conference in Berlin "World War II Memory, Rituals and myths: critical thinking experience"

Open call

Period June 11 – August 10

Location Online

The Centre for Independent Social Research Berlin (CISR - Berlin), in the year of the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, invites participants to an experience of critical reflection: World War II Memories, Rituals and Myths.

The project aims to set up joint critical work of participants from Russia, Belarus, Poland and Germany seeking to clarify the nature of mutual recriminations and find a constructive way out of existing contradictions.

CISR invites citizens of Russia, Belarus, Poland and Germany, under 30 years of age, to take part in the contest, encouraging students of social sciences and humanities faculties (sociology, anthropology, history, journalism, etc.) in the last years of the bachelor's degree, in master's or postgraduate studies. Writers, bloggers, artists and documentary filmmakers are also invited.

1. The first stage of the project will take the form of an essay contest. To take part in the essay contest, please fill out the form (see below) and send an essay (text/video, from 1000 to 2000 words or 5-7 minutes of video) by August 10, 2020 to

Please note that the "essay" can be both in textual and video format (in a documentary short film format, etc.).

  • Working languages of the project are Russian and English. Essays and necessary documents should be submitted in one of these two languages.
  • The contest winners, selected for their essays, will participate in a two-week study-tour to Russia (St. Petersburg, Rzhev, Katyn and Smolensk), Belarus (Minsk and Brest), Poland (Warsaw and Gdansk), and Germany (Berlin and Dresden). Visits of sites of memory, museums and memorials, discussions with researchers and activists, independent and group work with other participants will be organized. The study trip is planned for mid and second half of November 2020. Depending on the circumstances (due to the Covid-19 pandemic), this date may be postponed.

2. The final stage of the project is a conference in Berlin. Authors of the four best essays will be invited to the conference and award ceremony. The conference was planned for the second half of November, but, as with the trip, the question of dates is still open.

  • All costs related to the study trip and conference will be covered by organizers.

For all questions, please contact

The project is funded by the German Federal Foreign Office.

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