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Peace and Conflict Culture Network

The Historical Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina, black and white photograph
The Historical Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina, black and white photograph
The Historical Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina by architect Boris Magaš, 1963.

Addressing the complex and contested questions that face post-conflict societies, of what we should remember, what we should forget, and why?

Project duration: 14 February 2022 – 14 August 2022

Funded by: AHRC

Project summary

The network will seek to facilitate connections with academics and other relevant stakeholders and mobilise arts and social institutions engaged in peace, conflict and cultural discourse in the UK and abroad in selected regions.

It will posit a central research question: what is the role of museums and memory sites that deal with memory and conflict, and how can they more effectively promote tolerance, resilience, inter-group and inter-ethnic cooperation?

Firstly, it will investigate the role of art and artists in a museum/site of memory context in contributing to peacebuilding processes. Secondly, the network will facilitate discussions around the question of how youth can be engaged actively in peacebuilding through engagement with museums/sites of memory.

The network will foreground the contribution from academics and institutions from post conflict societies in particular from the Former Yugoslavia, Rwanda and the Great Lakes region, Lebanon and the Middle East and Colombia and Latin America.

Project team

The Peace and Conflict Culture Network is convened by the Photography and the Archive Research Centre.
Core team:

Project aims

  • Develop and nurture the Peace and Conflict Culture Network (PCCP) as a community of practice bringing together relevant academics globally together with museums, memorials, galleries, sites of memory and non-governmental organisations and cultural producers.
  • Produce a range of public facing outputs including 2 conferences on Museums and Memory, Sarajevo, 2022 and 2023, an edited volume of conference papers, a series of think pieces published in the BIRN web portal, 4 regional workshops in Bosnia Herzegovina, Colombia, Lebanon and Rwanda, and a series of virtual workshops and seminars with the archived sessions to be hosted by Sites of Conscience as a resource for its membership.
  • Inform directly the development of several projects including the PCRC's summer school for youth activists at the Srebrenica Memorial Centre, and the BIRN 'Reporters House' museum in Sarajevo.

Events and Activities

Peace and Conflict Culture Network Launch

Online and in Sarajevo, 6 April 2022
2.30pm GMT/ 3.30pm BST/ 4.30pm CET

The launch event will outline the proposed Network and its initial activities, and then open up the discussion for contributions from participants to help shape the themes of the network for the future.

Why Remember? Peace, Conflict and Culture Conference

Sarajevo and Srebrenica, 6-8 July 2022

The Why Remember Conference 2022 will address the complex and contested questions that face post conflict societies, of what should we remember, what should we forget, and, ultimately, why?

A key theme for this year’s conference is: how museums and other cultural institutions can deal with the past? What is the role, if any, of such institutions in making sense of contested pasts and narratives as a part of peacebuilding and conflict prevention?

Keynote presentation: Genocide Memory and Memorials – Remembering through Memory Activism

Tali Nates, the founder and director of the Johannesburg Holocaust & Genocide Centre will explore the role of genocide memorials and museums in confronting a country’s painful pasts. Using the case study of the Johannesburg Centre, she will explore the role of such sites as spaces of memory activism, making connections between genocide and current issues.  She will share her thoughts about how such sites can assist in understanding human rights and democracy in spaces still struggling with the legacy of a traumatic history.

The conference will be held in a hybrid format with all face to face sessions being webcast live and online sessions webcasted into the conference venue.

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