Past European famines have long legacies as their memories continue to impact current debates about economic decline, refugees, Brexit, and COVID-19. Often, they are evoked to stress transnational conflict. Heritages of Hunger (HoH) demonstrates that the memories of these pasts actually offer the potential to promote transcultural and transhistorical understanding. The project is conducted by researchers at Radboud University, Wageningen University & Research, and the Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies (NIOD), and collaborates with a global consortium network of educators, researchers, and institutions.
HoH comparatively investigates heritages surrounding the following case studies: episodes of war (Belgium and Germany during and after WWI; the Netherlands, Russia, and Greece during WWII, Germany after WWII); neglect and ecological crisis (Ireland and Finland during the nineteenth century), and oppression (interbellum Spain, Ukraine).
Moreover, HoH analyses educational practices at schools, museums, and surrounding commemorative initiatives, and addresses the significant mutual impact between such practices and immigrant communities in Europe and across the globe. HoH will result in a report with teaching recommendations, aimed at policy makers, educational institutes, and the heritage sector. It will also deliver educational materials for learners of all ages in the form of a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) and an open-access digital repository of textual, visual, and audio materials about the famines at the heart of the project.