What does a project that engages in historical dialogue look like? Historical dialogue is a broad and interdisciplinary approach to conflict transformation and human rights work that includes, but is not limited to educational and advocacy initiatives; memorials and museums, archives and databases, films, literature and journalism. The aim of historical dialogue is to engage the memory of past violence as a method of reconciliation and “coming to terms with the past” in conflict and post-conflict societies. Historical dialogue engages both history and memory in its work.
In thinking about your project, further guiding questions include:
- Does your project collect and provide facts about the history of particular conflicts that challenge national or ethnic memories of heroism and/or victimhood?
- Does your project engage communities or encourage individuals to speak out about past violence and human rights abuses?
- Does your project question and dispel official historical narratives by focusing on the established facts of violence and injustice?
- Does your project identify and monitor how history is misused to divide society and perpetuate conflict?
- Does your project enhance public discussion about the past and advocate for the importance of a shared or dual historical narrative?
- Does your project foster empathy for alternative historical perspectives on a past conflict or otherwise seek to facilitate the construction of a new public culture?
- Does your project commemorate or memorialize victims of a conflict, the location of atrocities or significant dates related to a conflict?
If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, then your project is relevant and we would be encourage you to map it! If you have further questions, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.