Former Labour leader and EU Commissioner Neil Kinnock will open the Overcoming Dictatorships exhibition at the University of Birmingham tomorrow.

Overcoming Dictatorships shows 17 works produced by ten artists and is the result of a project involving artists and writers from six European Countries, sharing their experiences of the change from dictatorship to democracy, in particular after the opening of former Communist countries since 1989.

The purpose of the exhibition is to give a better understanding to Western European citizens of the recent history and political experiences of Eastern European countries. 

The works in the exhibition deal with processes of mourning, remembering and overcoming the past. They question established perceptions and identify non-geographical dictatorships such as consumerism and globalisation.

Dr Jutta Vinzent, curator of the exhibition, says: “It is not the intention to add another pillar to a proclaimed European Heritage, but rather to contribute to bridging the East and the West.”

Neil Kinnock will open the exhibition at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts on 9th October at 12.30pm.

The exhibition, which closes on 9th November, will then be seen in each of the home countries of the contributing artists.


Notes to Editors:

The exhibition is part of ‘Overcoming Dictatorships’, a 2006-09 project funded by the European Commission.

The countries contributing are: Poland, Romania, Hungary, Italy, Czech Republic and Germany.

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Images are available on request.

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