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Publication: Memory and Democracy

The International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) has published "Memorialization and Democracy: State Policy and Civic Action”.

The publication is based on the proceedings of the international conference held in Santiago, Chile on June 20-22, 2007 and attended by 130 stakeholders from 20 different countries. The conference explored an integrated approach to the past and future of human rights through three interrelated aspects of memorialisation and democracy:

- Theory: what does a “democratic” history look like? How can memorials balance telling objective truths that bring justice to victims and offering multiple perspectives that provide and inclusive, representative, and dialogic view of history? How can different historical narratives contribute to the development of post-authoritarian or post-conflict identities? How does placing physical reminders of a community’s violent past in its landscape contribute to building a culture of respect for human rights and peaceful resolution of conflicts?

- Practice: what structures and activities can sites of memory use to create spaces for democratic dialogue? How can they be used to support democracy in both the short and long term? How can they address the immediate needs of victims and involve new generations?

- Partnerships: how can states interact with civil society to fashion the best policies for memorialisation? How can memorials support truth commissions, tribunals, police reform, schools, community centers, watchdog groups and other democracy-building projects?


English version available at ICTJ website