Public Events

Pilot Community Workshops

The Pilot Community Workshop process began in the middle of December, 2015, with the assistance of a local partner Community Based Organization (CBO), positioned in the locality of Palavi in Puttalam, north of Colombo District – a largely displaced northern-Muslim community amidst a host community. Initially, a group of 15 community leaders and representatives were gathered as the Core Group and an introduction to the research of the PM Project and the intended purpose of the community intervention was presented. The Core Group was mobilized to introduce the concept of the Community Intervention to other community members and a subsequent session took place in January 2016. In this session, several anonymized interview extracts were presented to the community group at large and a process of discussion, debate and selection by way of elimination took place. The community group chose a transcript that they felt spoke best to their own situation. In March in another discussion, the community group further chose not to present the extract to the local public as it was, but chose the medium of artistic expression by way of school students in the higher secondary grades in order to permit the diverse interpretation and expression of a positive message – that of gratitude to their host community who took them in when they were displaced from their homes 25 years ago in a mass expulsion. By choosing the youth of their community – many of whom had been born after the expulsion – the adult community group also felt it was a way of transferring their memories and their experience to the next generation, in so doing, preserving their memories. In April, an art competition was organized by the CBO supported by the PM project in which 89 students from two local schools participated. A panel of five independent judges selected three winning art works and another 25 young artists were selected for consolation prizes. The winning art works will be distributed between the two schools, and with the support of school authorities, these will be transferred to the external school walls in life-size so that their messages can be communicated to passers by and the community at large. This final step is still in process.

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Keynote address: Collecting and publicising testimonies of cross-ethnic solidarity in the midst of ethnic violence
Svetlana Broz

Roundtable: Functions of testimonies in post-conflict settings
Gregoire Duruz, Aloys Batungwanayo, Svetlana Broz, Irene Maffi, Guy Elcheroth

Friday 5 September 2014, 9:00 – 17:30
La Grange de Dorigny, University of Lausanne

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Open thematic workshop
Monday 5 May 2014, 9:00 – 17:30
Amphimax 414, University of Lausanne

For more details, see FLYER

9:00 – 10:30
Collective victimhood after conflict, war, and genocide: International perspectives
Johanna Vollhardt
Clark University, USA

11:00 – 12:30
The Politicization of Memories in Sri Lanka
Rajmohan Ramanathapillai
Gettysburg College, USA

14:00 – 15:30
Oral history and Palestinian collective memory
Sonia Nimr
Birzeit University, Palestine

16:00 – 17:30
Why do the stories we tell matter? Media interventions to prevent violence and promote reconciliation in Rwanda, Burundi, and the DRC
Rezarta Bilali
New York University, USA

contact: sandra.penic@unil.ch