This article explores the collaboration between five Czech and Danish researchers across nations, languages, ages and institutions. The ambition is to unravel and destabilize views on collaboration that tend to present an ideal of collaboration processes and methodologies. We suggest difference as a principal generator of complexity and tension. Through an analysis of two memory-work stories, we show how dynamic forces of difference disturb ideals of collaboration and dialogue. Theoretically we draw on Bakhtinian dialogical conceptions of difference and post-structuralist thinkers, including Davies, Deleuze and Guattari. The article concludes with reflections on difference and power in collaboration.