Additional publications are available on the Online Resource Center, an online forum where registered members can participate in discussion and access all the resources of the Coalition including publications of member Sites. ( Free registration required.)
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The Coalition is pleased to share an article on the impact of Sites of Conscience in a special issue on evaluation of the International Journal of Transitional Justice (IJTJ).In 2009, the Coalition launched a study of key youth programs at three member sites: the Liberation War Museum in Bangladesh, Villa Grimaldi in Chile, and the Monte Sole Peace School in Italy. Using evaluation techniques from the fields of transitional justice, peace education, and museums, this study sought to understand the impact of Sites of Conscience youth programs on participants, both short- and long-term, as a way to continue to document best practices and refine Sites of Conscience methodologies world-wide.
The article in IJTJ describes how the study found that participation in Sites of Conscience programs has impact on young people in a number of ways, including changing opinions, raising awareness, improving relationships, encouraging civic engagement, and increasing emotional understanding of the human consequences of atrocity. The article argues for increased investment in evaluation of Sites of Conscience programming, clearer articulation of goals and activities by transitional justice mechanisms, and for transitional processes to make better use of memorial sites to achieve their goals.
Please note that the article is currently only available by purchasing a copy via IJTJ’s website.
MUSEUM International Features “Sites of Conscience: New Approaches to Conflicted Memory”
The International Coalition is pleased to announce that the latest issue (No. 245-6) of MUSEUM International, journal of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), features Sites of Conscience and their approaches to conflicted memory. In an issue dedicated to “Heritage: Conflict and Consensus”, founding director of the International Coalition, Liz Sevcenko writes about strategies used around the world by Sites of Conscience to help communities to confront the questions that divide them:
For better or for worse, heritage is a key terrain on which larger societal conflicts are expressed and addressed. This could seem deeply discouraging if conflict over heritage is seen as a problem to be managed, an obstacle to be overcome. However, if such contestation about the past is viewed instead as an opportunity to facilitate critically needed dialogue on contemporary issues, we could open up new possibilities for heritage sites in civic life.
To read the article, visit: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1468-0033.2010.01720.x/abstract
MUSEUM International, published by UNESCO since 1948, is a major forum for the exchange of scientific and technical information concerning museums and cultural heritage at an international level. It fosters exchanges of expertise in the context of interdisciplinary research (anthropology, archaeology, history and art history, sociology, philosophy, museology and economy), best practices for the safeguarding and protection of the cultural heritage, and political decision-making in a cultural environment undergoing deep-seated changes.
Connecting Past and Present: 2008 Report of International Coalition Activities
The International Coalition’s first annual report, Connecting Past and Present, describes the latest work of Sites of Conscience around the world: how they are opening dialogue on critical questions in their communities, and how they are working together to build an international movement to remember the past and confront contemporary issues.
Memorialization and Democracy: State Policy and Civic Action Report from 2007 International Conference 6/2008
What is the relationship between public memorialization and other mechanisms of transitional justice? Do memorials have a limited life span? What design decisions can help give them a longer life? Shouldn’t memory discriminate when it comes to human rights and democratic values? These are a sample of the questions raised and discussed in a brand new report from the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience, International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) and FLACSO-Chile. The report puts forth the first set of recommendations for national and international frameworks to support Sites of Conscience as developed by the 130 participants from 20 countries in the international conference “Memorialization and Democracy: State Policy and Civic Action” which the Coalition, with Villa Grimaldi Peace Park, hosted in June 2007 in Santiago, Chile.
In February 2008, the Public Historian, the official journal of the National Council of Public History in the United States, published a special issue on Sites of Conscience. The issue focuses on the ways in which society’s response to museums, memorials, and historical sites can grow from passive observation to active engagement.
Available through the website http://www.ucpressjournals.com/journal.asp?j=tph, the issue features the following essays from Sites of Conscience:
The Power of Place
The Power of Place, a publication of the New Tactics in Human Rights Project describes the founding of the Coalition and the premise of Sites of Conscience. It includes tactics for harnessing the power and potential of historic sites and museums to inspire dialogue and civic action and showcases the diverse strategies used by some of the Coalition’s founding sites.
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