MNEMOSYNE: In Search of the European Identity

Mnemosyne is a ten-year, pan-European and civic project. It is a new way of considering exhibitions, memory policy and culture at a time of the greatest threat since the Second World War. Initially launched 3 years ago as an exhibition project, Mnemosyne has now become a nexus for the most diverse protagonists (universities, schools, [technology] companies, human rights NGOs and museums among others).

The project derives its name from the Greek goddess of memory, Mnemosyne, from which the word memory also stems. The basic assumption of Mnemosyne. In search of the European identity is that without (shared) memory, no (European) identity can be formed. This applies to each individual, as well as to collectives, states and unions.

Just as talking about oneself reveals a person's identity, communities, too, create their identity by means of narratives. This occurs through memories with a national, or, in the particular case of Europe, a pan-European reference being passed on. Europe lacks these broad, common, positive narratives.

The multimedia exhibition, research and mediation project presented here is embarking on a search for just those ideas and stories of a common European self-image, which recognizes the differences of the various national states and vaults over them. It would like to invite people to identify with Europe and joyfully exclaim: Yes, I’m a European! Yes, I can gladly identify with these values and with this community! In this sense, the Mnemosyne project follows a historical-political aim.

A complex visualization of cultural history involving the newest technology and oldest myths will give rise to a new combination of historical narrative, art exhibition and participatory project.