Voices

The Voices blog is curated by EUROCLIO Ambassadors and history, heritage and citizenship education professionals. Would you like to contribute? Please send us a message!

Teaching the Ends of Empires

EUROCLIO Secretariat

In early November, the Bronbeek Museum hosted a day-long conference, sponsored by the National 4/5 May Committee of the Netherlands on how to teach decolonisation in former empires. Ethan Mark, a modern Asia historian from Leiden University, was there and shared the following insights with EUROCLIO highlighting the themes and outcomes […]

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Fascism and Anti-fascism in our time: Critical Investigations

EUROCLIO Secretariat

In light of the recent surge in nationalist and authoritarian movements in Europe and around the world, “Mapping Memories“, an event programme of the German Federal Agency for Civic Education, organised a conference in Hamburg & Lűbenurg from 1-3 November 2017 discussing the potential for histories of fascism and anti-fascism to provide […]

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How to Deal with Colombia’s Violent Past? Part II

EUROCLIO Secretariat

This is the second part of a report made by Meena Pankaj Malhotra and Senada Jusic on their study visit to Colombia. It is the eleventh article in a series of blogposts and reports on all study visits made for the project “Dealing with the Past in History Education”. In this project civil society actors from different backgrounds, visit schools and institutions in countries that are struggling with a difficult past. For the first part of this report, please click here.

Pedagogy in the MNM

During our visit to Colombia, we learned that there are a number of ways and methodologies that are being used across the country to deal with the violent past. The theme across all methodology is to keep memory alive so that it never happens again. Here museums have a very important role to play to not only institutionalize memory but also to put structures in place that transform individual memories into collective memory.

One of the most important projects of the Centro Nacional de Memoria Historia is the plan to set up a museum.  Land has already been acquired for this purpose and a call for the museums architectural design has been sent out. Catalina Orozco, through her presentation, explained in detail the plans and the pedagogical approach that the museum will use to educate citizens about Colombia’s violent past.

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How to Deal with Colombia’s Violent Past?

EUROCLIO Secretariat

This is the first part of a report made by Meena Pankaj Malhotra and Senada Jusic on their study visit to Colombia. It is the tenth article in a series of blogposts and reports on all study visits made for the project “Dealing with the Past in History Education”. In this project civil society actors from different backgrounds, visit schools and institutions in countries that are struggling with a difficult past.
For over five decades Colombia has experienced intense violence associated with multiple unresolved social and political conflict—a violence that has been changing its characteristics over the decades with regards to its agents, motivations, intensity and mechanisms. Hundreds of thousands of fatalities have occurred by massacres and assassinations. Over and above that, innumerable Colombians have become victims of forced disappearance, forced displacement, abduction, extrajudicial executions, unlawful recruitment, torture, abuse, and sexual violence. Resistance to suffering is inherent in human nature. Today in Colombia one sees a strong sense of this resistance—in political will, in civil society, in individuals. Our study visit intends to highlight some of these efforts by individuals, civil society, education institutions and the state.

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The Truth about Finland

EUROCLIO Secretariat

Over the last two years, at various conferences and meetings, people have been pointing at Finland as the country which will “abolish” all school subjects. Posts about this have in fact gone viral a number of times. This lead us to talk with our Board Member from Finland, Riita Mikkola, […]

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“Our Attitude towards the Past is Largely Subject to Modern Reality” – GAHE President on History Education

EUROCLIO Secretariat

Nana Tsikhistavi, President of EUROCLIO member association the Georgian Association of History Teachers, has explored prominent themes and questions that arise when teaching history in an interview published in the Kutaisi Post, the newspaper of Georgia’s “second city”. The goal of history teaching In the interview, Tsikhistavi explains the importance […]

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A Study into International Law Development that Reads as a Detective

Joke Van der Leeuw-Roord

Lviv in Ukraine is one of the gems in Eastern Europe. I visited this town for the first time in 1997 and was immediately taken by its beauty, despite the often dilapidated status of many of its monuments. My colleagues introduced me into its complex history. The city has been part of many historical kingdoms, republics and empires: Poland, Austria-Hungary, Imperial Russia, West Ukrainian People’s Republic, Soviet Union, Nazi Germany and finally, since 1991 of independent Ukraine. The name of the city changed several over times too: Lvov, Lemberg and Lviv. The city was before World War II one of the most important centers for Polish, Ukrainian and Jewish culture. Many monuments testify of this rich history. After the Second World War the situation for totally changed: the Jewish population was decimated due to the Shoah and the Polish citizens fled or were deported. Lviv (at that time called Lvov) had become a Ukrainian speaking Soviet City.

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Dealing with Croatia’s Difficult Past in History Education – Part II

EUROCLIO Secretariat

This is the second part of a report made by Clara Ramírez Barat and Olesya Skrypnyk on their study visit to Croatia. It is the ninth article in a series of blogposts and reports on all study visits made for the project “Dealing with the Past in History Education”. In this project civil society actors from different backgrounds, visit schools and institutions in countries that are struggling with a difficult past. The first part of this blogpost can be found here. 

Continuation of the report

Day 2: Tuesday 31 January

After the conversation in the University the DwP team visited the City Museum of Split. Opened to the public in 1992, in a palace that was built in the15th century. The Museum exhibits the cultural and historical heritage of the city through a stunning collection of artwork (including fragments of monuments and statues that were once parts of buildings in Split) together with numerous documents, photographs, maps and manuscripts that tell the story of the city. After the visit, the DwP team met with one of the museum educators and another educator from the Maritime Museum to learn about their perspectives on the challenges of conveying to young people the recent and difficult history of the country.

As a historical museum, the City Museum of Split, however, does not cover the most recent period of the country’s history. As a matter of fact, from the different museums in Split, it is only the Maritime Museum that includes the history of the 20th Century in its exhibition. According to the Maritime Museum educator, a historian by training, it is difficult to explain the history of World War II and the Independence War to the kids that come to visit the museum. This is even more the case when it comes to students coming from Slavonia, a region from the Eastern part of the country near the border with Serbia, not only because the war was especially felt in that area, but also because the classes are mixed, with both Croatian and Serbian students. Indeed, she had sometimes been warned by teachers to be careful on how she explained this period to them, and to limit her introduction to the basics—the terrible consequences of the war—without entering into details about the causes and the way the war unfolded. She noted that while often students are surprised when they hear about the war, it is important that students today learn about the recent history of the country. Having worked in the museum for five years, she commented that the memory of the war is fading, becoming less important with each generation that passes, and she worries that students today don’t get much exposure to it in the school curricula. She mentioned that while the war is briefly touched upon in primary school, students don’t really learn about it until they are 15 years old. However, this is only if they go to high school, as those who attend technical schools won’t learn more about it in school.

After the visit to the Museum, in the afternoon, the DwP team went to visit Visoka, a primary school in the city of Split, to discuss with the students why for them it is important to learn history, and to find out what they learn about the difficult history of Croatia in school and what more would they like to know about it. In general the kids agreed that studying history was important to understand the present time, to know more about their country and the society in which they live today.

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Dealing with Croatia’s Difficult Past in History Education – Part I

EUROCLIO Secretariat

This is the first part of a report made by Carla Ramírez Barat and Olesya Skrypnyk on their study visit to Croatia. It is the eighth article in a series of blogposts and reports on all study visits made for the project “Dealing with the Past in History Education”. In this project civil society actors from different backgrounds, visit schools and institutions in countries that are struggling with a difficult past. The previous article in this series of Ineke Veldhuis-Meesters’ visit to Calcutta, India, can be found here. 

Report of the international study visit Croatia

As members of EUROCLIO’s Dealing with the Past Project (DwP) team, Olesya Skrypnyk (Nova Doba, Ukraine) and Clara Ramírez Barat (AIPR, Brazil office) travelled to Croatia from January 30th to February 1st 2017. In three days, one in Zagreb and two in Split, they met with several civil society actors, state institutions representatives, teachers, and students to learn about how the difficult past is taught in schools, and to discuss the practical challenges involved in dealing with conflicting memories and emotional histories in the classroom. This report briefly summarizes the discussions they held during those days and outlines the main findings of the study visit.

Day 1: Monday 30 January

On the morning of January 30th, the DwP team had a combined meeting with Documenta and Youth Initiative for Human Rights, two NGOs that work with different aspects of dealing with the past in the country, especially in regards to the adoption of transitional justice measures and the promotion of non recurrence. After a brief introduction to the work of both organizations, the discussion centered on the question of how, in their views, history education could help better deal with the difficult past in Croatia. As organizations trying to advance human rights issues in Croatia in relation to the war, however, they found it was very challenging to pursue their mission in the country today and that most of their perspectives were not widely shared by the society.

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