We are delighted to announce that on Tuesday 4 November at 19.00 (GMT) we will be holding our first Twitter debate.
Our subject is going to be:
Memorialising genocide – How should we remember?
We want your thoughts on how we should remember genocide. What do you feel is appropriate for a memorial event? What sorts of things should be included in a memorial, and should these be set and indeed uniform? Should they be adaptable to changing circumstances, and what about the focus of memorials, should it always be on loss, remembrance and honour, or should other sentiments be included? How do you think contested narratives can be addressed through memorialisation?
What about Srebrenica? What are your feelings on how Srebrenica has been memorialised? What constitutes a responsible permanent memorial to victims of genocide? Are there essential elements that need to be included in memorials to atrocities such as Srebrenica? How do you feel difficult or uncomfortable aspects of memorial services should be addressed? How can we best include narratives, particularly when calling on survivors to share their harrowing testimonies? How can we most usefully draw out lessons from such crimes?
With the 20th anniversary next year, why not join us to share your thoughts on what you’d like to do, and tell us how you feel we should commemorate the genocide.
Facilitating the debate will be Lowri Smith, who has written extensively at under-graduate and post-graduate level on memoralisation and Srebrenica. Her Masters dissertationRemembering the Dead, Dividing the Living: A Study of the Effects of War Memorials in Post-Conflict Society covered the impact of memorialisation and memorials in societies torn apart by conflict. Conclusions drawn within this piece were that although it is important that we never forget, memorials can be extremely divisive and often create obstacles to the formation of shared truths, a key aspect of reconciliation. Nevertheless, it is precisely because of their impact on populations and their immediacy to them, that they should be seen as important transitional justice mechanisms, and, when used appropriately, are able to become an important tool to aid reconciliation.
We have a number of well-known names on hand to add their contributions to the debate including Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Stephen Williams, and representatives from Bosnia-Herzegovina.
So join us for a lively, well-informed and interesting debate.