The burden of the past and blind spots in the construction of national historical truths often manifest in obstacles to intergovernmental cooperation. However, the mutual exchange of societies’ experiences and their understanding of past events can facilitate processes of remembrance, reappraisal and reconciliation. By connecting NGOs and guiding a structured exchange of the culture of remembrance as well as memorial practices in Armenia, France, Germany, Israel and Turkey, the Impact Group „Common Remembrance, Future Relations” helped to reduce images of the other, to initiate reciprocal learning processes in remembrance, commemoration and reconciliation work, and to foster intercultural cooperation by planning and launching collaborative projects.
What did we do?
To contribute to intercultural understanding and cooperation, the Impact Group „Common Remembrance, Future Relations” was divided into three parts.
The first session took place from 24 -28 May 2017 in Yerevan, Armenia. The aim of this session was twofold: While it set a theoretical and conceptual frame by addressing processes of remembrance, reappraisal and reconciliation, its focus was to provide a platform for exchange and to connect the NGOs with each other. Each representative teamed up with a partner and they began to work out a collaborative project.
The second part of the project took place in the partners’ respective countries as was is meant to provide a work shadowing opportunity. Each NGO representative visited their partner NGO to gain deeper insights into their understanding of past events, their approaches of reconciling with the past and their ways of communicating knowledge.
The final session took place in Berlin in September 2017 and provided a forum to exchange ideas about the work shadowing, to discuss challenges for the work of NGOs regarding remembrance, reappraisal and reconciliation as well as to present the upcoming collaborative projects.
Kyle Khandikian, Eleni Diker, Selim Gezer & Öykü Gürpinar (2017): Queer Village. Istanbul, June 2017.
Andreea Dumitriescu, Elias Bouaroua & Etienne Bilal (2017): Exil Patrimony. Yerevan, August 2017.
Tami Kinberg & Mira Ballmaier (2017): pARTs of Terezin. Israel and Germany, July - September 2017.
Impact Group Members
Varsenik Minasyan, IFAIR Project Manager ‘Common Remembrance, Future Relations’ – firstname.lastname@example.org
The project was successfully concluded in September 2017 in Berlin.
The program was under content direction by IFAIR and held under the patronage of Michael Roth, Minister of State for Europe at the German Federal Foreign Office.
Our project partners were the Federal Foreign Office of Germany and the Armenian NGO Armenian Progressive Youth (APY).