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Shaping the Past / Gestaltung der Vergangenheit

Innovative Forms
of Memory Culture

How does the past take shape? What happens in the process of coming to terms with the past? What social repercussions are associated with the rooting of history in monuments and memorials? How can those narratives be shifted or upended through alternative, innovative approaches to memorialization? These questions and many others are at the center of our project, Shaping the Past, a partnership between Monument Lab, the Goethe-Institut, and the Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung (German Federal Agency for Civic Education/bpb)
More on this project


Monument Lab Town Hall

Monument Lab Town Hall

On October 8 and 9 2020, we kicked off our project Shaping the Past with the Monument Lab Town Hall. Watch videos of the keynote conversations that took place, check out the graphic recording of the event and see the 2020 Shaping the Past fellows introducing themselves! More

Shaping the Past – post cards

Get a Set of Postcards!

With most of our events being digital, we still wanted to give you something tangible. Enter your address and we will send you a set of postcards with a selection of modern monuments and art in public spaces!
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Memory Month Map

Throughout North America, we have developed local programs on topics of memory culture with our partners – accompanied by events both online and offline. Find out what's happening in your area, or participate digitally with events in other locations.


Memory Month Events and Programs

We invite you to our Shaping the Past: Memory Month, a month-long virtual and in-person program series focused on contemporary debates surrounding various aspects of memory culture and featuring the Monument Lab 2019 and 2020 Fellows as well as prominent international voices in the field. 

In the coming months, numerous events – both online and offline – will take place in this context. Find out more by clicking on the events!


Our Fellows

Our Fellows

The fellows for Shaping the Past come from Monument Lab's 2019 and 2020 fellowship cohorts and were selected from an applications pool of over 100 memory workers throughout North America and Germany with existing projects using art, activism, history, journalism, and other tools to approach monuments in their communities. Applications were reviewed by a jury representing the fields of art, history, and social engagement, who recommended applicants who demonstrated excellence, innovative processes and projects for public engagement.


Updates from our Fellows


Our Partners

Shaping the Past is produced in partnership with the Goethe-Institut, Monument Lab, and the Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung (Federal Agency for Civic Education).


Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung Monument Lab Logo

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