On the 14th of July, the EUROCLIO symposium “The Past: The Elephant in the Room of Diverse Societies?” will bring together views and experiences of civil society activists, including educators, cultural workers, and engaged citizens, from The Netherlands, as well as Bosnia-Herzegovina, India, Lebanon and Ukraine.

Register on the EUROCLIO website

What can you expect?

We will start the day with a critical look at Dutch society from the perspective of an outsider and an insider, introducing relevant debates surrounding the Golden Coach and Black Pete controversies. Dr. Timothy Ryback, contributor to The New Yorker and director of the Institute of Historical Justice and Reconciliation, will share his view on the ethics of facing historical legacies of the past. In particular, the discussion will address difficult issues of identity, belonging, and polarisation. It is clear from the public debate in The Netherlands that radically opposing views on these matters challenge social cohesion.

Global perspectives, including those from Colombia, Croatia and South Africa, will be introduced by leading history educators who have traveled across the world to share their experiences and gain new insights. Their personal and professional journeys demonstrate the difficult nature of dealing with the past in divided, post-conflict societies. Often the recent, violent past has directly and immediately impacted their lives. How have they transformed their experiences into a catalyst for positive change?

The afternoon will explore in practical terms how civil society initiatives are finding ways to address sensitive histories for a range of societal purposes, including reconciliation, intercultural dialogue and social cohesion.

We hope to meet you during our symposium and to learn from one another, in the Netherlands and across the world, whether we are frank enough about the elephant in the room.

The symposium is organised by EUROCLIO – European Association of History Educators, the Anna Lindh Foundation Netherlands Network and the Institute for Historical Justice and Reconciliation, and the event is made possible by the generosity of the Robert Bosch Foundation and Konferentie Nederlandse Religieuzen.

Details

Date: Friday, 14 July 2017
Location: Mandeville building Erasmus University
Thomas Morelaan, 3062 PA Rotterdam

There is no fee for this symposium. A lunch will be provided.