2nd Changing the Story Network Meeting

In May 2018 our partners meet in South Africa for their second workshop as part of a wider series of events around heritage and young people, led by Professor Stuart Taberner and the South African Holocaust & Genocide Foundation.

The exhibition Germany’s Confrontation with the Holocaust in a Global Context was co-created by Stuart Taberner at the University of Leeds and the South African Holocaust and Genocide Foundation. The exhibition toured more than fifty schools, universities, art galleries, museums, and public libraries in South Africa, the UK, the USA, and Ireland. Many thousands of visitors, including very many young people, engaged with its central theme. What does it mean for the descendants of those who were perpetrators, bystanders, or—far less often—’upstanders’ to confront a traumatic past and act to tackle injustice in the present?)



Our Second Network Meeting

On 21-22 May, we welcome Changing The Story colleagues from Kosovo, Colombia, Rwanda, Cambodia and the UK to the recently opened Holocaust and Genocide Centre in Johannesburg. This is a purpose-built museum and education hub that hosts a packed programme of public engagement as well as extensive work with children and young people around respect, reconciliation and human rights, including support for the SA schools’ curriculum. The mission of our project partners at the Johannesburg Centre, along with the Cape Town and Durban Centres that together constitute the South African Holocaust Foundation, is to help to create a more tolerant and respectful South Africa, following the degradations of apartheid and in the context of present-day xenophobia and even violence.

During the two days of the workshop we will be linking directly to the main themes of Changing The Story—the usefulness (or otherwise) of arts and heritage interventions with young people to confront traumatic pasts. The workshop will reflect critically on the presumptions frequently implicit in such interventions (e.g. that reconciliation is possible or even desirable; that ‘western models’ work elsewhere; that power imbalances can easily be overcome; that ‘Human Rights’ are in any event ‘universal’). Along with academic, heritage-sector and NGO colleagues from around the world and especially Africa—from both Changing The Story and a suite of related projects—our ambition is to shape a new agenda for how best to mobilise heritage to make progress toward achieving the sustainable development goals around peace, strong institutions, and social justice.