ReConference is a three day international, interdisciplinary conference on the topics of re-enactment and living history. Our aim is to examine and develop the re-enactment scene - the many topics of historical re-enactment and living history - through key talks, workshops, panel discussions, «rants and praises» and small pop-up exhibitions. We welcome re-enactors, living history enthusiasts, experimental archaeologists, museum staff, festival organizers, archeologists, researchers, university staff, journalists, multimedia developers, moviemakers and all others who have an interest in the Re-enactment scene.
Historical re-enactment as a hobby and method of dissemination has reached a new level of popularity. In Norway alone, the number of re-enactors has doubled in ten years - leading to a large number of re-enactment events and festivals, co-operations between re-enactors and institutions such as museums, schools and municipalities and re-enactors contributing in big blockbuster movies and popular TV-shows. Re-enactment attracts artisans and audiences from all over the world, initiating fruitful cross-border co-operations in the fields of infotainment and cultural heritage. However, with growth and development comes a range of new potentials, questions and challenges.
In February 2017, Reconference vol. I was hosted in Moscow, Russia. The conference had both Russian (Ratobor) and Norwegian speakers (Hands on History), addressing macro level topics such as best practice exchange in festival organization and re-enactment concepts and festival formats, the main takeaway being that “re-enactment events often have the same content and format, making it less interesting for re-enactors to participate and for visitors to attend”. While identifying and addressing these topics, many more topics arose - pressing the need to make the Reconference a broader, annual event.
Does Historical Reenactment and Living History have a potential beyond what we experience to day? In what way are the many new agendas and motivations for participations and organization influencing the practice? How should the imminent topic of re-enactment and modern politics be handled? How can museums and re-enactment groups make interesting tradeoffs? Should re-enctos pay to attend events or should they get payed? And how and why should one use the term historical authenticity? The time has come to engage in a “meta talk” about what re-enactors do, how they do it, who is doing it and why.