Visegrad Fund and the Open Society Archives in Budapest invite applicants from the fields of history, the arts, philosophy and sociology to reflect on the conditions of knowledge production during and after the Cold War. Scholars and artists are invited to analyse the documentary practices of different agencies and persons on both sides of the Iron Curtain and assess the truth value of related documents/artifacts.
In an era when people and academic communities are more and more divided over matters of common concern, the organisers of the scholarship consider it the duty of both historians and archives to engage in a more reflexive manner with the problematic nature of records of the past. Scholars are therefore invited to take part in an academic challenge as well in a public act of providing examples of source literacy going beyond the usual categorisations such as ‘biased’ or ‘subjective’. OSA collections feature as a ‘counter-archive’, comprising documents, used as evidence in the past [mostly Cold War] to counter allegations of authoritarian and violent regimes; doing research at OSA means not only uncovering proofs related to certain events, but also engaging in a current debate about the integrity, authority, relevance and truthfulness of sources.
Please consider the following reflexive questions when engaging with OSA collections:
To what extent can one attempt to provide a truthful account of a historical event or problem based on the OSA collections? What do the sources highlight or obscure?
What kind of truth regimes archives stood for in the past and what kind of investigation they can inform in the present?
In what sense the ‘perspective’ of the source (or the metadata connected to it) contribute to the understanding of the information it presents?
What is the relevance of the gathered data (and metadata) for current debates and research?
Grants of 2000 euro each are designed to provide access to the archives for scholars, artists, and journalists, and to cover travel to and from Budapest, a modest subsistence, and accommodation for a research period of eight weeks. Stipends for shorter periods are pro-rated.
Applicants, preferably but not exclusively, from a V4 country (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia), may be researchers, students after their second degree carrying out research, or artists, journalists, academics, or both.