The banished memory of the Chechnya wars

Panel discussion with Caucasus experts from Russia (in-person participation) and with the journalist and filmmaker Anna Nemzer (via zoom) about her documentary film (2020) dedicated to the memory of the two Chechnya Wars

Friday, 10 December 2021, 12:15 – 13:45 Uhr

University of Bern
Unitobler, Lerchenweg 26, 3012 Bern (Room F -113 in the basement)

With Covid Certificate

Contact: Dr. Cécile Druey,
For more information about the event see

The conflict in Chechnya, although changing in form, intensity and dividing lines, has been going on for several decades, and its consequences strongly affected the societies on all sides; it can thus savely be defined as what is commonly referred to as “protracted conflict”. Moreover, with the experience of the wars itself, and the increasingly authoritarian regime in place since 2000, it becomes more and more difficult to talk about the past.
With her documentary film “Запрещенная память чеченских войн/The Banished Memory of the Chechnya Wars” (2020), Anna Nemzer has created an impressive memorial to all those mostly ordinary citizens who have gone through the war and now look back on this difficult period from the most diverse perspectives. A lot of traumatic memories come up, which, however, have no place in the public discourse in today’s Russia and Chechnya. What exactly happened and why? And what does it mean for Chechens and Russians who have to deal with these memories today? During the panel discussion of 10 December 2021, Anna Nemzer, North Caucasus experts from Russia (Evgeniya Goryushina, Rostov, and Victor Shnirelman, Moscow) and Mairbek Vatchagaev, historian from Chechnya  and co-editor of the journal Caucasus Survey, will discuss the difficult topic of how the wars in Chechnya are represented in today’s society.

Moderation: Cécile Druey (Historical Institute, University of Bern)
Language: panel discussion in English and French, screened film excerpts in Russian with English subtitles.
This panel discussion is part of the Expert workshop “Conflict escalations and windows for peace in Chechnya”, co-organised by the Historical Institute (University of Bern) and the association Ost¦Est Osteuropa-Netzwerk Bern-Fribourg.

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