31 January 2013

New memory toolkit 'Remembering & Narrating Conflict' now available online

Header of 'Remembering & Narrating Conflict'

A new memory toolkit, 'Remembering and Narrating Conflict', is now available online. It offers resource materials for those working on storytelling, historical clarification, documentation truth telling, and memory work initiatives in different regions of the world.

The resources on which this toolkit is based began as a project of the Colombian Historical Memory Group (Grupo de Memoria Historica), which was created in 2005 as part of the National Reconciliation and Reparations Commission. Its mission was to develop an inclusive and comprehensive narrative of the reasons for the emergence and the evolution of the internal armed conflict and the armed groups. As part of that work the commission held collective memory workshops around Colombia. Many who participated in these workshops appreciated the various methods that were used and wanted to know more about them so that they could hold similar sessions. Resource material was created that spoke to the what, how, and why of this sort of work and were made available online in Spanish. 

That toolkit was well received in Colombia, and it was suggested that it could also be useful to those doing memory work in other contexts of violence. So as to make the toolkit more appropriate and relevant in other countries and contexts, a dialogue was opened, with the support of funding from the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In the subsequent collaborative project between the Historical Memory Commission of the Center of Memory of Colombia and the University of British Columbia, coordinated by Pilar Riaño-Alcalá, University of British Columbia and Colombian Commission of Historical Memory, thirty-three memory workers in twenty countries (across four continents) read and commented on an initial English translation and adaption of the toolkit. Twenty of these, including Catherine Kennedy, the SAHA Director, then attended a workshop held in Vancouver, BC, Canada May 25th and 26th, 2011, to engage in further discussion and feedback on the toolkit

Th toolkit resulting from this processing, along with further information about the project, can now be accessed at at reconstructinghistoricalmemory.com.

Text adapted from the toolkit website.