Memory and history as a basis of social reconciliation in Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh


We use individual biographical narratives to stimulate reflection and discussion in the respective societies.

Timeframe: 2017 - 2021

This project is bringing people from Azerbaijan and Karabakh into our regional network of memory and history. We created two parallel, intergenerational and history-based discussion processes (Azerbaijan - Karabakh) that deviate from the traditional confrontational narratives. Moreover, in the duration of this project we have created physical space for Biographical Salon events.


The Azerbaijani-Armenian war over Nagorno-Karabakh as well as the continued use of force since the ceasefire of 1994 have poisoned the relations between the parties involved.

The historical account of the escalation of conflict and war in the early 1990s often follows stereotypical categories in the region. On both sides dominate narrative, which are characterized by "one-sided blame" and competition dominate. The current violence affects how people reflect about their past. A strong loss of trust and the dominance of stereotypical narratives have become an obstacle to overcoming tensions. Our approach is based on the assumption that a constructive and respectful engagement with the processes of escalation and the experience of violence in the 1990s is possible.

Partners and funding

The project is carried out in cooperation with key individual partners and selected facilitators in Azerbaijan and Karabakh.

The project is funded by the German Federal Foreign Office.


On site, we conduct biographical interviews with contemporary witnesses of the conflicts. These interviews focus on personal experiences of those affected. The interviews serve as the basis for our local discussion workshops, in which the participants, inspired by the interview, discuss and reflect on their own experiences.

During Biographical Salons we host some of our interview respondents in our space. This provides an opportunity to the interested people to hear their stories and memories in person.



Project lead

Oliver Wolleh
Head of Unit
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Team members

Armani Gambaryan
Izzat Khushbakov


Media contact

Florian Lüdtke
Media and Communications Manager
+49 (0)151 6655 7357
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