Memorialization, Historiography & History Education: Activities

Programs and activities on memorials

Memorials manifest themselves in a variety of forms, "from formal museums and monuments that evolve over years and cost millions of dollars to ephemeral collections of condolence notes, flowers, and pictures of victims at sites where they died or vanished."1 Celebrations, renaming of streets and other public places are also important components of memorialization processes which also require a series of supporting activities.

National memorials to genocide and mass killings

These memorials often revolve around human remains that are displayed or preserved as a means to educate people about the scope of death and brutality associated with the violent conflict. In Rwanda visitors can view the remains of some of the victims of the 1994 genocide, which have been preserved in schools and churches where they were found.  In Cambodia, tour guides assist visitors in digging up remains, including bone fragments and teeth, at the 'killing fields' memorials. While in situations of recent violence memorials typically do not offer visitors an analysis of the conflict, when more time has passed, memorials often present educational background, as well as explanations of the roots of violence, and lessons learned. Some memorials also honor human decency and courage. For example, the Garden of the Righteous memorial in Sarajevo commemorates those who helped victims across ethnic lines during the Bosnia War; the Yad Vashem memorial in Jerusalem honors those who protected victims of the Holocaust; and the Garden of The Righteous in Yerevan's Tsitsernakaberd genocide memorial remembers non-Armenians who helped Armenians "before, during, and after the 1915 genocide."2

"Ethnically divided societies usually produce memorials that honor a narrowly defined ethnic group as its 'martyrs.'"3 For example, a memorial in Kigali, Rwanda, dedicated to the Tutsi victims of the 1994 genocide does not mention Hutu victims of subsequent Tutsi oppression and in Northern Ireland wall murals commemorate 'martyrs' from each group. "Sometimes, however, memorials are used to promote a new, multicultural national identity after the conflict has ended and a democratic transition is under way." For example, "Robben Island Museum in South Africa tells the story of the 'Rainbow Nation' through the collective struggle of anti-apartheid prisoners on the island, yet the dominant narrative is that of the party that came to power through the struggle: the African National Congress. The difference between the two approaches has to do with how the conflict ended (whether or not an inclusive democratic transition is under way, replacing an authoritarian political order that privileged one ethnic group over another); how much time has elapsed since the violence ended; and whether the memorial was initiated at the local or national level."4

Community memorials

Many memorials take the form of monuments of different kinds (including 'freedom' or 'peace' parks); they are often very modest, built with limited means by communities located at or near the site where killings have occurred. Visitors can see them along the roads. Walking tours, demonstrations and vigils, temporary exhibits, virtual memorials on the Internet, and lists of names of victims and heroes in museums, on monuments, and on websites are among the multiple  creative ways communities have found to commemorate the past and its victims.5

Memorial activities may also be organized around the exhumation of graves. Families perform ceremonies before the exhumation of bodies. In Guatemala, associations of forensic anthropologists give families and survivors the space for memorial activities at each step of the process, including when the bones are transported to the capital city to pursue the work, a long process which may be very frustrating for the families.


Museums can take many different forms. They can be established at a national level and further the objectives of the state with respect to creating a historical narrative and furthering national identity; they can be created by a community and document the lives of those lost as well as collective and cultural losses. Museums can also have monument-like qualities. Local museums may also be used as sites for community gathering, commemoration, cultural celebration as well as educational activities for even the youngest generation.

Monuments and museums in sites of conscience

Museums are often located at sites of conscience, places which constitute symbols of the past violence. This is a way to manifest the wish for a society to break with the violent past but also to learn from it.6 In different parts of the world, sites of former killing fields, concentration camps, torture centers and prisons have been transformed into museums. In other cases, former torture and detention centers have been transformed into symbols of the new rule of law. For instance, in Johannesburg, Constitution Hill now houses the Constitutional Court of South Africa. On this site used to be the Old Fort Prison Complex, commonly known as Number Four, a detention and torture center where many political prisoners awaited trials. In Monrovia (Liberia), the defunct detention center known as Post Stockade will be turned into museum depicting military and other anti-facts of Liberias past. Other examples include the following:

Srebrenica (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

"Srebrenica in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the world's first United Nations 'Safe Area,' was the site of the worst case of massacre in Europe since World War II. In July 1995, the Bosnian Serb army staged a brutal takeover of the small town and its surrounding region. Over a period of five days, the Bosnian Serb soldiers separated Muslim (Bosniak) families and systematically murdered more than 7,800 men and boys in fields, schools, and warehouses. The massacre was carried out after the commander of the United Nations Protection Force, General Bertrand Janvier, handed the town over to the Serbian army General Ratko Mladic."7 The site is now home to the Srebrenica-Potocari Memorial Centre. The cemetery was set up in 2000. Each anniversary several hundred newly-identified bodies are buried there. The Memorial Centre also comprehends a Memorial Room is a specially designed museum-style space.


In Rwanda, museums are often housed in churches where atrocities occurred, and, in several cases, bodies are preserved as they were found. The Kigali Memorial Centre was inaugurated in April 2004, on the 10th Anniversary of the genocide that split Rwanda apart. The Centre provided an opportunity to offer a place in which the bereaved could bury their families and friends, and over 250,000 victims of the genocide are now buried at the site. The Centre includes three permanent exhibitions, the largest of which documents the genocide in 1994. There is also a children's memorial, and an exhibition on the history of genocidal violence around the world. The Education Centre, Memorial Gardens and National Documentation Centre of the Genocide all contribute to a meaningful tribute to those who perished, and form a powerful educational tool for the next generation.


The site of the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum in Phnom Penh is a former high school which was used as the notorious Security Prison 21 (S-21) by the Khmer Rouge regime from its rise to power in 1975 until its fall in 1979. The buildings at Tuol Sleng are preserved as they were left when the Khmer Rouge were driven out in 1979. The regime kept extensive records, including thousands of photographs. Several rooms of the museum are now lined, floor to ceiling, with black and white photographs of some of the estimated 20,000 prisoners who passed through the prison. Some rooms preserve leg-irons and instruments of torture. The museum is perhaps best known for having housed the skull map, composed of 300 skulls and other bones found by the Vietnamese during their occupation of Cambodia, to serve as a reminder of what happened at the prison. The map was dismantled in 2002, but the skulls of some victims are still on display in shelves in the museum. Today, the museum is open to the public, and along with the Choeung Ek Memorial (The Killing Fields), is included as a point of interest for those visiting Cambodia.

Auschwitz-Birkenau (Poland)

The Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum was created by an act of the Polish parliament on July 2, 1947, and includes the grounds of two extant parts of the Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II-Birkenau concentration camps.The Museum grounds cover 191 hectares, of which 20 are at Auschwitz I and 171 at Auschwitz II-Birkenau. A buffer zone for the Museum grounds in Birkenau was established in 1962, and a similar zone at Auschwitz I in 1977. Both zones were revised in 1999 under the terms of a new law on the protection of the sites of Nazi death camps. The main idea behind the establishment of the buffer zone was the protection of the authentic context of the Memorial and the provision of essential security. On the museum grounds stand several hundred camp buildings and ruins, including the ruins of the gas chambers and crematoria, over a dozen kilometers of camp fence, camp roads, and the railroad spur ("ramp") at Birkenau. In 1979, the site of Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp was entered on the UNESCO international list of world heritage sites. As early as 1947, the first exhibition, expanded in 1950, was opened in several camp blocks at the Auschwitz I concentration camp site. It presented the history of extermination and the conditions in which the prisoners lived. In its work over the last few years, the Museum has concentrated on explicating and commemorating the site and the buildings, and on illustrating important places and the most crucial events in the history of Auschwitz concentration camp.

Transformed memorials

Regime change is a moment when states make fundamental decisions concerning their past and what to do with the monuments, memorials, sacred places and other symbols of past regimes. These decisions both reflect and shape post-conflict peacebuilding. In some cases, such as in the former Soviet Union or after the French Revolution, the answer has been to remove or destroy such sites and thus to signal a break with the past. "In South Africa removal and destruction have been used very little. Rather the post-Apartheid South African government has emphasized two strategies of transformation as part of post-conflict peacebuilding: appropriation, meaning associating the older holidays, symbolic places and buildings with the new regime's practices and institutions, and modification in which the older symbolic locations and events are redefined in ways that are more cultural and less political so that they are compatible with South Africas current self-definition as the rainbow nation."8

The transformation of the Voortrekker Monument provides a good illustration of this approach. The Voortrekker Monument is situated on a hill overlooking Pretoria; originally a memorial to Afrikaner pioneers, it was especially associated with the Battle of Blood River of December 16, 1838, at which the Boers defeated a Zulu army. Two years after the fall of apartheid, the premier of Gauteng (a provincial area of which Pretoria is a part), a prominent member of the African National Congress, visited the monument and, in a very public media exercise, reinterpreted the meaning of the site by stating that the original fence built around the monument, which was made of spears symbolic of the spear of a powerful Zulu leader, represented the power of the Zulu people in protecting the site rather than the victory of the Afrikaner people over the Zulus, as the site was original interpreted. In 1994, the government of Nelson Mandela proclaimed December 16 the "Day of Reconciliation." Today, black tour guides lead visitors through the site and concerts by black musicians are held there. In addition, almost a decade after the transition to democracy, a civic space called Freedom Park, "designed to commemorate the struggle against apartheid has been developed on an adjacent hill. The two hills, side by side, thus provide visitors a lesson on two different ways of viewing the same history."9

Another example of engaging with past symbols is the Baum memorial in Berlin. This small memorial was commissioned by the city council of East Berlin in 1981 to commemorate an anti-fascist resistance group, the Herbert Baum Group. In 1942, some 25 members of the group were arrested, tortured and either killed or sent to concentration camps. The original text on the memorial described this incident, and then, almost as an afterthought, proclaimed the "eternal friendship between the German Democratic Republic and the Soviet Union." After German reunification in 1990, designers added a transparent piece of plastic on which they inscribed a new narrative, while the old can still be seen under the cover. The new narrative says the memorial "documents the brave act of resistance in 1942, the conception of history in 1981, and our continuous remembrance of resistance to the Nazi."10

Memorials to disappearances

These memorials tend to reflect the absence of bodies as "repressive regimes and other perpetrators use disappearances precisely for the deniability of the act. The immediate result is that surviving family members are left without physical locations to mourn their dead." 11 These memorials often include "walls of names of the victims and sometimes other information focused on recasting their identities - from subversives to victims of the state. Such sites also provide a physical or virtual space [a website] where family members can mourn their losses."12 This is the case of Sin Olvido (Without Forgetting) and Proyecto Desaparecido (Project Disappeared). Societies also tend to create memorials at torture centers to "explore the history of state-sponsored torture and extrajudicial killings."13 Memorials to disappearances typically correlate with post-dictator situations.

Celebrations and national days of commemoration

In the aftermath of mass crime, states may establish official days to commemorate victims.

Cambodia: National Day of Hatred

May 20th is the National Day of Hatred in Cambodia, commemorating the victims of the Khmer Rouge genocide, even though many observers have insisted on the fact that Cambodians think their memories are private and should not be shared with the public.14

South Africa: Day of Reconciliation

In apartheid South Africa, December 16th was known as Day of the Vow, as the Voortrekkers in preparation for the battle took a Vow before God that they would build a church and that they and their descendants would observe the day as a day of thanksgiving should they be granted victory. With the advent of democracy in South Africa, December 16th retained its status as a public holiday, however, this time with the purpose of fostering reconciliation and national unity as the 'day of reconciliation.'

Rwanda: International Day of Reflection on the Genocide in Rwanda

The United Nations General Assembly has designated 7 April 2004 as the International Day of Reflection on the Genocide in Rwanda, and has encouraged all Member States, organizations of the United Nations system and other relevant international organizations, as well as civil society organizations, to observe this International Day, including special observances and activities in memory of the victims. The Government of Rwanda, for its part, has asked the entire world to observe one minute of silence on that day, at 12 noon, local time, in each time zone. The UN Secretary-General has supported that request, and urged all Member States to comply with it.

Renaming of streets and other public places

The renaming of public facilities in the names of victims is also a way to commemorate the victims as well as important events of the collective history.

In South Africa, for instance, the South African Geographical Names Council Act of 1998 was passed by parliament as an act of affirmation. It affirms "precisely the cultural diversity of South Africa, born of the recognition that in the past, that we all regret but nonetheless have to recognize as part of the South African reality, there had been a conscious effort to deny that diversity through various acts of commission and omission."15 The Geographic Names Council, established by a 1998 Act to review and change names being used for cities, towns, rivers and mountains, changed the name of many places, provoking some protests and vandalism from some groups in the White population. But other concerns have been also raised. For instance, in the aftermath of the work of the Commission, many have noted that the names of 'white men' were replaced by 'great black men;' this means that much of mainstream society, women, and marginalized populations have continued to be omitted.16

Supporting activities

The effectiveness of memorialization process may be enhanced through supporting activities which facilitate community dialogue and group processing. Workshops (or focus groups) and any mechanisms that support dialogue allow for the identification of the various objectives, needs and goals of the community, consensus building processes, and the coordination of those involved or affected by the processes.

Education and storytelling also allow for greater impact of memorials and museums. For example, education programs at the District Six Museum in South Africa help younger generations understand what their parents and grandparents lived through and have enabled that museum to retain meaning for new generations.17  Go to South Africa: Memory community projects

Public awareness programs around a memorial at all stages of its process - from creation of the thought to manifestation and maintenance - help to create meaning, ownership, and recognition to further the goals and functions of the memorial. Go to Public Information and Media Development

International networking

Memory work is supported by different programs and networks of institutions working on memorialization across the world, such as the International Coalition of Historic Site Museums of Conscience.

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Programs and activities on historiography and history education

The writing and rewriting of history, as well as the transmission of historical consciousness from one generation to the next involves a series of interrelated activities. Major activities include the establishment of historical commissions and curricular and pedagogical reform efforts. Such activities are undertaken by a variety of actors, including local historians and teachers, foreign historians and education experts. Various international non-governmental organizations have built up invaluable expertise in historiographic and educational issues in conflict-affected and post-conflict contexts and supported exchanges and networking. Other educational programs aimed at supporting the development of a culture of peace or relying on arts and popular culture also complement the spectrum of initiatives undertaken in that field.

Historiographic projects (in particular, historical commissions)

"The transfer of knowledge from one generation to the next through textbooks is controlled not only by scholarly quality criteria and by pedagogical standards, but also by political interests."18 One way to approach the issue of transfer of historical knowledge in post-conflict contexts has been to form historical commissions in order to revise textbooks. Historically, international initiatives of that sort happened mainly in the context of inter-state conflicts. "International textbook revision became a politically acknowledged and scholarly activity after the shock of the First World War, performed under the umbrella of international organizations such as the League of Nations and, after the Second World War, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)."19 This traditional model is characterized by bilateral or multilateral cooperation on equal terms such as the German-Polish, the French-German or the Italian-Slovenian Textbook Commission. These commissions were quasi-official commissions set up by educational authorities in the different countries. This model is qualified by some analysts as "a somewhat ideal approach where all partners recognize each other and meet in a symmetrical dialogue."20 Another feature is that the commission members were obliged to find a compromise, "a more or less harmonious version of the shared history", if not a "consensual" one, which sometimes looked very much like a "diplomatic" agreement between divergent interpretations.21 One  key advantage of this model is that,  once a new version of history and a new history textbook are accepted by both sides, it is more likely to be approved, published, disseminated and pedagogically implemented in each country, as the process is often financed and backed by the governments themselves. 22

This method started to evolve with the historiographic worked engaged in post-communist societies as more exchanges were possible among societies, prompting an increasing role of groups of experts linked to different civil society organizations. This evolution is even clearer in most contemporaneous post-conflict settings, given the new characteristics of these conflicts. For example, current post-conflict settings refer mostly to conflicts between groups within a society (even though many wars also involve some inter-state components that would require a regional effort in the historiography work, such as in the Balkans or the African Great Lakes area). Another difference is that some of the historical controversies are from a much more recent past; most of them generally remain unresolved. Intergroup relations remain marked by tension, mistrust, and often intransigent views.  As a consequence, there is a widespread feeling in many post-conflict societies that publicly discussing and revisiting the recent violent past may contribute to the resumption of violence. In such unfavorable environments, "many projects focus on developing principles and methods with which a disputed issue can be presented without necessarily writing a joint, ultimate narrative." 23

'Official' textbook commissions are rare or, if they exist, they may not actually function. This explains the fact that many of the current projects in postwar settings are supported by NGOs and academic networks. In many cases, outsiders and "groups representing civil society have to pave the way for encounters and steps toward reconciliation to take place."24 International organizations and regional organizations such as UNESCO, the World Bank, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the European Union and the Organization for the Cooperation and Security in Europe (OSCE) may also be at the origin of the creation of similar commissions as they "produce new teaching materials in countries in which the local government can neither fully control its education system nor provide sufficient financial means for the required reform."25

"The working process of projects [related to history education] conducted by NGOs in conflict areas in which the violence has not abated is less easily defined, because the political, academic, and pedagogical levels cannot be clearly distinguished. The project may come under political fire from the outset and have to find means to tackle this threat. Professional mediation is needed to keep current politics out of the group meetings. The mediation not only has to guarantee a high academic standard of textbook analysis and methodological approach but also create an atmosphere of confidence, without which no fruitful results can be expected. The work of NGOs or expert groups, which are composed of devoted intellectuals, teachers, and parents, helps to create a nucleus for a civil society that can, in the long run, counterbalance backward-oriented political agencies. However, the implementation of products often turns out to be the Achilles' heel of projects conducted by NGOs. Ministries are not obliged to follow their advice and can ban their materials from schools. As a rule, the teaching units produced by NGOs are meant to provide additional material that does not replace regular textbooks. Teachers need training to become amenable to this kind of material and to the new methods it offers."26 In other words, one of the difficulties of civil society initiatives is that they may produce excellent material but it will be marginalized or not actually used in schools. Go to Key debates and implementation challenges

Curriculum reform

Ideally, the results of historical research should gradually find their way into history textbooks and consequently result in curriculum reform. But it is strongly conditioned by the extent to which the civil authorities can project a clear vision for education that reflects a broad national consensus. It is a process that some may see as proceeding in stages. During the early stages curriculum reform is usually limited to the purging of curricula and textbooks by removing offensive content.  Substantive curriculum reform (that is, producing new history textbooks) to more broadly support peacebuilding objectives may take more time.27

Two main issues are generally at the core of the curriculum reform effort. First, "most curricula in the conflict affected countries...had either an assimilationist or a separatist approach to dealing with identity, and both of these strategies often become the focus of identity struggles that contribute to conflict. Many sought to move toward a more integrationist approach that would promote greater mutual understanding of cultural and identity difference within a broader framework of tolerance."28 The second area of attention regards the "weak relevance of existing curricula in reflecting the ways in which society has changed as a result of conflict, and/or in promoting the types of social changes perceived as being necessary to ensure transition out of civil strife, reconciliation, and the consolidation of peace. The types of knowledge, skills, values, norms, attitudes, and behaviors that encourage respect for human dignity and diversity are mainly located within often sensitive areas of learning that touch upon the often sensitive issues of collective memory or collective amnesia, identity, sense of citizenship, and of shared destiny."29

The curricula go beyond the textbooks themselves; they define the content, methods, and structures of intended learning experiences and are articulated "in a series of documents that include legislative decrees, policy documents, curriculum frameworks or guidelines, standards frameworks, syllabi, textbooks, and other instructional materials."30The reform and development of new curricula are complex processes that occur within a confluence of social and political dynamics; the creation of curriculum and teaching methods are highly sensitive tasks in post-conflict states.31 Therefore, some have suggested envisioning them as "social contracts resulting from processes of social dialogue, bargaining, negotiating, and reaching consensus."32
Go to Rwanda: Moratorium on history teaching, official history, and new history curriculum
Go to Bosnia and Herzegovina: The challenges of history education in postwar

Beyond the Curriculum Reform: Pedagogical Reforms

Curriculum reform alone is not enough to affect the course of history education in post-conflict schools. Indeed, to do so would "fail to account for the actual conditions of implementation (or "real" curricula) that ultimately shape learning experiences and define learning outcomes.  In addition, examination of official curriculum overlooks the importance of the unplanned learning of the hidden curriculum and attitudes of teachers, the interactions that occur in the classroom, and the assessment methods practiced."33 The notion of "hidden curricula" refers to the fact that "meanings are conveyed indirectly by the way language is used, the behaviour and attitudes of teachers, the interactions that occur in the classroom and the assessment methods practices."34 In other words, good textbooks require good teachers who can use them appropriately and develop pedagogies that are less rigid and autocratic, more debate-oriented, and impart analytical and critical thinking skills to students. Many observers note that "reforming pedagogy--the way history is taught-- should take priority in many contexts over curriculum revision, especially when resources are scarce...The most devastated educational systems may lack even basic textbooks, and sufficient time and money are often unavailable to produce them quickly.  In such situations, the immediate focus should be on helping teachers gain the necessary skills and confidence to help their students address the past through open inquiry and critical thinking, even without new textbooks."35 This process is not easy to put into practice. "The idea of 'democratic' classrooms is appealing in theory but must confront these areas of resistance and traditional ways of teaching dominated by lectures and rote learning. The idea of allowing classroom discussion and debate, while supported by many, evokes fears of new conflicts emerging. Critical thinking in more democratic classrooms runs the risk of fostering perspectives that may differ from government policy."36 Therefore, even though "pedagogical reform is attractive because it may be less controversial or threatening than attempts immediately after conflict to change historical narratives through curriculum reform," 37 it is still a delicate endeavor. Furthermore, pedagogical reform alone has its limits and is considered as "most effective when combined with curriculum reform."38  In sum, curriculum reform and pedagogical reform should be pursued in mutually complementary ways.

Supporting Activities: International Exchanges and Research Networks

Historiographic and history education programs are supported by multiple programs and networks of history teachers associations that support the learning and teaching of history. They organize workshops for teachers in the post-conflict countries, and facilitate the sharing and exchanging of knowledge and professional experience. Among the organizations providing similar support is the European Association of History Educators (EUROCLIO), the Scholar's Initiative in the Balkans, as well as various international NGOs and University programs.

The Scholars Initiative represents an international consortium of over 280 historians and other specialists from the Balkans, Western Europe, the U.S. and other countries. The Initiatives objective is to develop a shared history of the Balkan wars of the 1990s and to discredit nationalist myths and one-sided accounts of history through sober scholarship. The project participants produced research team reports that covered a particular period in recent Balkan history.  Many of the reports were co-written by an international and a local expert. A book containing the reports is to be jointly published by Purdue University Press and United States Institute of Press.

Source: Richard Byrne, Rebuilding Balkan Bridges, Chronicle of Higher Education 52, issue 23, February 10, 2006. For further information about the project and the research team reports, see the Scholars Initiatives website.

Curriculum and pedagogical reform projects are also supported by research projects that explore how history has been written or is being written in specific post-conflict contexts. Such research projects are or have been conducted by the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs,39 the Center for the Study of Historical Consciousness (University of British Columbia), The Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research and the Human Rights Center of the University of California at Berkeley. Some University programs have also conducted extensive history research programs on specific genocides, such as Yale University's Cambodian Genocide Program, in collaboration with the Mass Grave Mapping Project of the Documentation Center of Cambodia.40

Go to Key Resources: Historiography and History Education

Supporting Activities: Peace Education

Peace education refers to the "process of promoting the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values needed to bring about behaviour changes that will enable children, youth and adults to prevent conflict and violence, both overt and structural; to resolve conflict peacefully; and to create the conditions conducive to peace, whether at an intrapersonal, interpersonal, intergroup, national or international level."41 Programs undertaken under this rubric are also sometimes referred to as civic or human rights education programs. Peace education programs seek to educate children about resolving disputes through peaceful means, the importance of human rights, and the virtues of dialogue, tolerance and diversity.  They are sometimes considered as a modicum when history education seems too delicate to undertake in the immediate aftermath of a conflict. But peace education on its own "is insufficient vis-à-vis the longer-term issues of constructing frameworks for understanding the past." 42 Moreover, some critics have noticed that "the culture of peace framework, as part of a project of neoliberal governance, displaces historical analysis and expunges alternate narratives, with the effect of delimiting, not expanding, the options for public discourse about the past."43

Different forms of Peace Education

Skills-based programs involve workshops in communication skills and interpersonal relations as well as conflict resolution techniques. It is important to consider how the development of interpersonal skills in conflict resolution might have an impact on the dynamics of inter-group conflict within wider society.

Peace programs that are explicitly labeled peace education often share many of the characteristics of skills-based programs but a defining characteristic may be that a particular orientation is taken towards violence. In some cases the defining characteristic may be that the program material is heavily contextualized within a specific local or regional conflict. The rationale as to why peace education programs are directed towards certain groups (children, adolescents, adults, politicians, combatants, bereaved?) is also an important question to ask.
Multicultural and intercultural education emphasizes learning about diversity and concepts such as mutual understanding and interdependence. It may be simplistic to think that conflict arises simply because of lack of understanding of other cultures. Some critics suggest that such approaches lack impact if they abandon the crucial issues of structural inequality anddifferential power relations in society.
Human rights education puts the emphasis on universal values, concepts of equality and justice, and the responsibilities of individuals and states. There are significant difficulties in achieving approaches that are well integrated within the curriculum and other school activities. One issue is the absence of a human rights dimension in initial teacher education. Other difficulties include lack of commitment at the political level because of the challenges that human rights education may raise.
Civic education, citizenship and education for democracy. Modern civics programs go beyond simple patriotic models of citizenship that require uncritical loyalty to the nation state. By defining citizenship in terms of human rights and civic responsibilities, such programs attempt to uncouple the concept of citizenship from nationality in a way that may make it more difficult to mobilize political conflict around identity issues.
Source: Alan Smith and Tony Vaux, Education, Conflict and International Development (UK Department for International Development, 2003), 35.

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Arts and Popular Culture at the Crossroad of Memorialization and History Work

Visual arts, theatre, tales and storytelling are also used as alternative ways to contribute to the remembrance of the past but also to the writing and re-writing of the history of a society, the opening of spaces to debate about it, and alternative modes of education of the young generation. Throughout the world, international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) but also local organizations and community groups, have begun to use arts-based activities in those efforts. They have found arts-based processes as a creative method to work through unresolved emotions and conflicting narratives, paving the way for new approaches that may impact an entire society.

Many of these activities have started at the community level. In Northern Ireland murals have evolved "not only for memorialization but for propaganda and demarcation as well. This has become a nonviolent form of expression in reaction to the trauma of the conflict, their way of speaking out."44 Memory clothes and quilts are created, sometimes across communities, like one created by the 1995 Srebrenica Massacre survivors in Bosnia and the United States and unveiled in 2007 in St. Louis (which is home to more than 45,000 Bosnian refugees, including around 5,000 former inhabitants of Srebrenica).

In South Africa, in the province of Western Cape, survivors of violence and torture under the Apartheid regime created and exhibited scrapbooks, body-maps, photographs, memory cloths, drawings, paintings, art banners and film to tell the stories of their lives and those who died during apartheid.
Go to South Africa: Breaking the silence: A luta continua. Visual arts, writing and telling a different history

In different countries, popular tales and theater have been also used to support memorial and history work. In Peru, the Grupo Cultural Yuyachkani (a quechua word meaning "I am thinking"/"I am remembering"), working together with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, performed "outreach work in the communities where public hearings were to be convened by the Commission and 'lend the power of performance the arduous task of reconstructing and remembering the war.'"45 In Burundi, a non-governmental organization has supported the gathering, writing, publication and dissemination through different media of popular tales supporting positive values in the history of the Burundian society. It has also supported the production of three theatrical pieces written on the basis of the narratives of the actors themselves and several groups of the population, and played by actors from the three ethnic groups - Hutu, Tutsi and Twa. The representations took place all over the country and were followed by focus group discussions.
Go to Burundi: Popular tales and theatre to tell a silenced history

1. Judy Barsalou and Victoria Baxter, "The Urge to Remember: The Role of Memorials in Social Reconstruction and Transitional Justice" (Washington, DC: USIP, January 2007), 4.
2. Ibid, 6.
3. Ibid, 7.
4. Ibid, 7.
5. Ibid, 5.
6. Louis Bickford, "Monuments and Memory," International Herald Tribune (November 19, 2007).
7. "Programs: Commemoration of the Srebrenica Massacre - Genocide and Aftermath Art Exhibit and Presentation at the United Nations" (New York: Academy of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Inc).
8. Marc Ross, "Museums, Monuments, Memorials, and the Politics of Memory in Post-Apartheid South Africa"Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Studies Association, Hilton Hawaiian Village, Honolulu, Hawaii, Mar 05, 2005.
9. Bickford, "Monuments and Memory;" Barsalou and Baxter, "The Urge to Remember: The Role of Memorials in Social Reconstruction and Transitional Justice," 17.
10. Bickford, "Monuments and Memory."
11. Ibid, 6-7.
12. Ibid.
13. Ibid.

14. See Patrick Raszelenberg, The Cambodia Conflict: Search for a Settlement, 1979-1991: An Analytical Chronology (Hamburg: Institute of Asian Affairs, 1995) and Craig Etcheson, After the Killing Fields: Lessons from the Cambodian Genocide, (Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers, 2006).

15. "Minister's Statement on the Renaming of Johannesburg International Airport," Department of Arts and Culture, Republic of South Africa (31 August 2006).
16. Interview with Ereshnee Naidu, New York, 7 May 2008.
17. Barsalou and Baxter, "The Urge to Remember: The Role of Memorials in Social Reconstruction and Transitional Justice," 9.
18. Falk Pingel, "Can Truth Be Negotiated? History Textbooks Revision as a Means to Reconciliation," in The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 617 (May 2008), 182.
19. Ibid.
20. Ibid.
21. Ibid.
22. Ibid, 183-184.
23. Ibid.
24. Ibid, 183-184.
25. Ibid, 183.
26.Ibid, 191.
27. Peter Buckland, Reshaping the Future: Education and Postconflict Reconstruction (Washington, DC: The World Bank, 2005), 53.
28. Ibid, 52.
29. Sobhi Tawil and Alexandra Harley, "Education and Identity-based Conflict: Assessing Curriculum Policy for Social and Civic Reconstruction," in Education, Conflict and Social Cohesion, eds. Sobhi Tawil and Alexandra Harley (Geneva: UNESCO, International Bureau of Education, 2004), 15-16.
30. Ibid, 15.
31. Harvey M. Weinstein, Sarah Warshauer Freedman and Holly Hughson, School Voices: Challenges Facing Education Systems After Identity-Based Conflicts, Education, Citizenship and Social Justice 2, no. 1 (2007), 45.
32. Tawil and Harley, Education and Identity-based Conflict: Assessing Curriculum Policy for Social and Civic Reconstruction, 19.
33. Ibid, 15.
34. Ibid.
35. Elizabeth A. Cole and Judy Barsalou, "Unite or Divide? The Challenges of Teaching History in Societies Emerging from Violent Conflict" (Washington, DC: USIP, June 2006), 10.
36. Weinstein, Freedman and Hughson, School Voices: Challenges Facing Education Systems After Identity-Based Conflicts, 65.
37. Cole and Barsalou, "Unite or Divide? The Challenges of Teaching History in Societies Emerging from Violent Conflict," 10.
38. Ibid.
39. The main results of that research have been published in Teaching the Violent Past: History Education and Reconciliation, ed. Elizabeth Cole (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2007).
40. See Etcheson, After the Killing Fields: Lessons from the Cambodian Genocide.
41. UNICEF, Peace Education in UNICEF (New York: UNICEF Education Section, 1999), 1.
42. Elizabeth Oglesby, "Historical Memory and the Limits of Peace Education: Examining Gautemala's 'Memory of Silence' and the Politics of Curriculum Design" (New York: Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs, June 2004), 33.
43. Ibid, 33.
44. Mary Treaftis, "The Murals of Northern Ireland," (2002) unpublished, 3-4.
45. Francine Mary A'Ness, "Resisting Amnesia: Yuyachkani, Performance, and the Postwar Reconstruction of Peru," in Theatre Journal 56, no. 3 (October 2004); See also a result of an investigation on this theatre experience and another conducted in the region of Ayacucho, the most affected by the war violence and also the place where the war first irrupted: "El teatro y la transformación de conflictos en el Perú" (El Instituto de Democracia y Derechos Humanos de la Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú/CERI-Sciences Po/CNRS).

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