Cultural Opposition – Understanding the Cultural Heritage of Dissent in the Former Socialist Countries
On 1 February, 2016 an international consortium coordinated by the Research Centre for the Humanities of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences launched a new research project entitled COURAGE.
COURAGE is a three-year international research project financed by the European Union through the Horizon2020 Framework Programme. The total value of the grant is 2.5 million Euros. The project aims to create the first digital database of both online and offline private and public collections in Europe which testify to the survival of various forms of cultural opposition in the former socialist countries of East-Central Europe from the rise of communist regimes in the region to the fall of the Iron Curtain. This project breaks new ground in two primary ways. First, it will create a comprehensive electronic registry of existing but scattered collections on the histories and forms of cultural opposition in the former socialist countries. Second, it will analyse these collections in their broader social, political, and cultural contexts.
What are the key target groups of COURAGE? The primary target group is the professional staff and the stakeholders of the collections. COURAGE will strengthen their standing by making the collections readily accessible to the wider international public. The second target group is the global community of academics and teachers. For them, the online database will serve both as an instructional tool and as a gateway for further research. The third target group includes policy makers at the European Commission and other European institutions. COURAGE will produce a set of policy recommendations concerning the use of collections for research and education.
What will be the long-term impact of the project? COURAGE will use a range of innovative means of dissemination to reach broad audiences. These means will include academic publications, handbooks, country reports, a digital repository, online teaching resources, public events (travelling and online exhibitions, film festivals), and the web portal.
COURAGE will significantly impact the ways in which we think about the history of socialism in East-Central Europe and, more broadly, the history of “oppression” and “resistance”. The legacy of cultural opposition in the former socialist countries is part of a pan-European heritage, and it reminds us that civic courage produces cultural values even under authoritarian rule.
COURAGE is the first H2020 funded project in the humanities coordinated by an East-Central European institution. The international cooperation is administered by the Primary Coordinator Contact, Sándor Horváth, and the Coordinator Contact, Péter Apor. Both scholars represent the Institute of History of the Research Centre for Humanities at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
Research Centre for the Humanities, Hungarian Academy of Sciences;
Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Polish Academy of Sciences;
Trinity College Dublin, Ireland;
The Institute for East and Southeast European Studies, Regensburg, Germany;
Institute of Sociology, Centre for Social Sciences, Hungarian Academy of Sciences;
Lithuanian Institute of History, Vilnius;
Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic;
University of Bucharest, Romania;
Croatian Institute of History, Zagreb;
Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia;
The University of Oxford, UK;
Institute for Computer Science and Control, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.