The Museum of War: Accelerating Social Reconciliation in Post-Conflict States

Boisvenue, Valérie (2018) The Museum of War: Accelerating Social Reconciliation in Post-Conflict States. In: ICOMOS 19th General Assembly and Scientific Symposium "Heritage and Democracy", 13-14th December 2017, New Delhi, India. [Conference or Workshop Item]

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Abstract (in English)

When a State emerges from a political, social or armed conflict, the process of re-establishing confidence between two parties can become long and arduous. Different versions of the same conflict may be taught, according to the group of individuals, ethnicity, membership of the establishment or indeed the government’s agenda. The priorities of a museum institution are study, transmission of heritage and education. They are generally intended to proceed via selection and presentation of tangible and intangible evidence of humans and their environment. In the case of nations in post-conflict situations, to these roles may be added that of agent of reconciliation. This symposium provides the opportunity to reflect how a heritage site can be used as a tool for reconstruction of a country and what it might bring to a state emerging from a conflict situation. In the context of this reflection, we propose to analyse two institutions – the War Museum of Canada in Ottawa and the Genocide Memorial Centre at Kigali in Ruanda. The principal mandate of the Canadian War Museums is to address armed confrontations from a pedagogic and constructive perspective. This establishment is distinguished by the quality of its exhibitions, which emphasise human experience in conflict situations. The mandate of the Ruanda Genocide Memorial, by their own account, is to welcome students and those wishing to understand the events of 1994 through presenting witness statements and offering services for conflict victims. These two very different institutions nonetheless set out lessons worth remembering by any nation seeking to reinforce peace via its cultural heritage. Our presentation will therefore deal with two aspects. Firstly we will see how mankind is best at doing everything to protect sites, whilst at the same time, paradoxically, being the greatest threat. We will explore with the tools developed by these two institutions how to become agents of reconciliation between different groups and opinions. We shall see how to avoid the traps of assimilation and the perpetuation of those stereotypes which reinforce hate directed at a particular group.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Authors:
AuthorsEmail
Boisvenue, ValérieUNSPECIFIED
Languages: English
Keywords: peace; reconciliation; museum; conflict; transmission; education; cultural heritage; Ruanda; Canada; post-war
Subjects: E.CONSERVATION AND RESTORATION > 09. Social and economic aspects of conservation
L.PRESENTATION AND TRANSMISSION OF HERITAGE > 02. Interpretation
L.PRESENTATION AND TRANSMISSION OF HERITAGE > 06. Musealization
L.PRESENTATION AND TRANSMISSION OF HERITAGE > 07. Education
National Committee: ICOMOS
ICOMOS Special Collection: Scientific Symposium (ICOMOS General Assemblies)
ICOMOS Special Collection Volume: 19th General Assembly, New Delhi, 2017
Depositing User: intern icomos
Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2019 14:14
Last Modified: 11 Jan 2019 14:14
References: Book

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Thesis

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Interview

Deruaz, Marie-Louise. Responsible for the educational development of the Canadian War Museum,

Ottawa. Interview conducted in September, 2017.

Hamel, Marie-Eve. PhD graduate and specialist in violence against women in Rwanda and BosniaHerzegovina. Interview conducted in October 16, 2017.
URI: http://openarchive.icomos.org/id/eprint/2001

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