“Learning History that is ‘not yet History'” and ICTY “Legacy Dialogues” Public Event

On the 30th January, forty excited participants, ranging from history education practitioners and textbook and curricula experts, to members of civil society and active voices within the public debate, gathered at the Museon in The Hague for a fascinating afternoon of panels and talks. The afternoon was part of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia’s (ICTY) “legacy dialogues” initiative and EUROCLIO’s “Learning History that is ‘not yet History’” (LHH) project. Hence, the afternoon’s focus was on why should, and how can, the wars of the 1990s in the former Yugoslavia – and specifically the issues and topics related to the ICTY’s work – be addressed in history education?’

The afternoon opened with speeches from EUROCLIO Director Jonathan Even-Zohar and Rada Pejić-Sremac from ICTY outreach, outlining the main aims and development of the LHH project and the role ICTY outreach is playing in ensuring a lasting and meaningful legacy of the tribunal. A first panel followed, composed of curricula specialists, formal education experts and textbook developers from the region followed. The lively panel discussed the challenges, lessons learned, achievements and next steps in History Education in the former Yugoslavia 25 years after the beginning of the wars. A second panel, co-organised by Pax for Peace, shifted the afternoon’s focus to the case of the Netherlands, and looked into how the case of Srebrenica and Dutchbat has been integrated within Dutch history education. Overarching questions regarding how this sensitive history is being addressed in formal education and an exploration into what possibilities there are for teachers to integrate it within their lesson plan were addressed.

EUROCLIO Board Member and Special Advisor Mire Mladenovski and Daniela Zunzer from the History Teachers’ Association of Switzerland concluded the event by leading a discussion on the way forward – what can be concluded and how the afternoon’s thoughts can be translated into educational materials and/or policies. The participants appreciated the fascinating afternoon of thought-provoking talks and discussions.

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