Artist Miroslaw Balka and architectural historian Joseph Rykwert discuss the concepts of memory and conflict, and how these are explored in contemporary art and architecture from UK to Poland – the birthplace of both speakers.
Conflict leaves a mark upon cities, societies and culture that endures not only in the sensibilities of the generations living it, but also in the identities of those that follow. In the aftermath, memories of conflict continue to have great impact, frequently creating greater political awareness and engagement. Culture reflects the values of a society and conflict has historically had a strong influence on art and architecture. In fact, it can often be the motivation behind speculative new ideas, while also providing a platform for reflection, recalling history and leaving a legacy to future generations. Architecture and art have played an important role in shaping the politics of memory around violent conflicts, defining the way they are later remembered.