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Learning from the Past - Sharing Experiences across Borders to Combat Extremism
Candles brought to the market square in Turku, Finland, following the knife attack in August 2017. Photo: Sullay/Wikimedia commons
Learning from the Past - Sharing Experiences across Borders to Combat Extremism
Mirva Villa 
Ensuring the next generation can grow up in more resilient, open, and pluralist communities in the face of rising extremism challenges countries across the globe. Faced with a rise in violent extremism, policymakers are under pressure to invest in prevention and to show that it works. Structured efforts to reduce extremist mindsets and behaviors have existed for some time, but evidence of effectiveness is often not widely known or utilized. Many interventions require considerable time to affect change, making rigorous measurement of their success over the long term resource-intensive and in need of sustained political will around an often-unpopular topic. What works? How do we know? And will it work in different geographic, cultural and political contexts? By providing a platform for cross-border and cross-sector collaborations, the session to be held this week in Schloss Leopoldskron, Salzburg, Austria – Learning from the Past: Sharing Experiences across Borders to Combat Extremism – aims to support those individuals and institutions who have taken up the challenge of promoting peace in their own communities. Salzburg Global Seminar’s long-running Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention (HEGP) Program works across cultures and contexts, including where perceptions and definitions of “extremism” differ widely. The 2017 session in the Program will build on work from previous years, particularly the projects launched at the December 2016 session, Learning from the Past: Promoting Pluralism and Countering Extremism. One of these projects, The Change Makers Leadership Program, created by Salzburg Global Fellows Tali Nates and Richard Freedman from South Africa, and Freddy Mutanguha and Aloys Mahwa from Rwanda, helps students between the ages of 15 and 18 in both countries understand their countries’ troubled pasts in an effort to promote peaceful coexistence and counter extremism. The first class of students graduated this summer, and it is intended that the program will expand to other African countries in 2018. Over 40 participants from 20 countries, mostly from Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia, will convene in Schloss Leopoldskron for this year’s session on November 16-20. They come from many professional backgrounds including academia, museums and memorial sites, civil society organizations, government officials, and public communications experts. Many of the participants are returning Fellows from other Salzburg Global sessions, including its multi-year series on Culture, Arts and Society, the Salzburg Global Media Academy and Reform and Transformation in the Middle East and North Africa. The session will mix interactive methodologies, plenary and small group discussions, and thematic and regionally focused working groups to explore and debate the most effective ways to combat rising intolerance and extremism. Participants will deepen and extend their collaborative work in order to identify cross-regional strategies to empower institutions and individuals with tools for ethical education, peaceful conflict resolution, and pluralist societies. Program Director Charles Ehrlich says that “we are thrilled to have such truly remarkable people from across the world to join us in Salzburg. They share a commitment to overcoming the legacy or threat of mass atrocity, using tools developed for Holocaust education to address their countries’ own national tragedies or problematic histories in an appropriate and dignified way, so that they may provide hope for – and through – the next generation.” The HEGP Program is held in partnership with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and this year is funded by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Zukunftsfonds der Republik Österreich. Additional support comes from Mr. Ronald Abramson; the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science, Research, and Economy; the Robert Bosch Stiftung; the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation; the HDH Wills 1965 Charitable Trust; the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung; and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. The HEGP Program’s emphasis on grassroots activity within existing institutional budgets anchors projects in their local communities and improves chances for longer-term sustainability. Activities depend on the partners and are demand-driven: The Program provides no financial support to activity implementation, but rather facilitates networks and exchange of experiences across borders to help in-country partners achieve their own institutional mandates, and to help external partners (government, academic, civil society, and other interested parties) to have access to practical feedback from on-the-ground actors within affected countries and communities. Since 2010, the Program has sought to develop methods for combating extremism and promoting pluralism through education and research. The Program has a network of individuals and NGOs in more than 40 countries, offering ongoing support to its members. It promotes learning from the Global South – both South-to-South exchange but also importantly transmitting lessons from South to North, to inform and influence effective policy and strategies both in the participants’ countries and in Western countries striving to address the same issues, and to determine what methodologies or tools can be leveraged in different contexts. The session, Learning from the Past: Sharing Experiences across Borders to Combat Extremism is part of the multi-year series Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention (HEGP) Program, which is held partnership with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and this year is funded by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Zukunftsfonds der Republik Österreich. Additional support comes from Mr. Ronald Abramson; the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science, Research, and Economy; the Robert Bosch Stiftung; the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation; the HDH Wills 1965 Charitable Trust; the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung; and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. More information can be found on the session here: www.salzburgglobal.org/go/589 and you can follow along via the hashtag #SGShol on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. 
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Salzburg Global to host Dara film screening at Schloss Leopoldskron
Salzburg Global to host Dara film screening at Schloss Leopoldskron
Salzburg Global Seminar 
Members of the public are invited to Schloss Leopoldskron this week to watch a showing of the critically acclaimed play Dara. Salzburg Global Seminar will host a free screening at Schloss Leopoldskron, starting at 2 pm on Saturday, November 19. The screening, which will be in English, will take place in the Robison Gallery, on the top floor of the Schloss. The play, adapted from work by Ajoka Theatre, is a portrayal of the 17th century Moghul Royals the Shah Jahan family and addresses debates surrounding religious freedom and practice. The creative team behind Dara includes Shahid Nadeem, writer at the Ajoka Theatre; Nadia Fall, director at the National Theatre, and Tanya Ronder, writer and adapter at the National Theatre. Dara was the first Pakistani play to be chosen and adapted by the UK's National Theatre. This occurred after Salzburg Global Fellow Anwar Akhtar brought a CD of the play to the theater's attention. Akhtar, director of The Samosa and production consultant to the National Theatre and Ajoka Theatre, will attend the screening. He is a multi-time Salzburg Global Fellow and was most recently a participant at the December 2016 session Learning from the Past: Promoting Pluralism and Countering Extremism. This year's screening is taking place midway through the follow up program to that session, of which Akhtar, again, is a participant - Learning from the Past: Sharing Experiences Across Borders to Combat Extremism. If you wish to attend this event, please email fellowship@salzburgglobal.org to reserve a seat. Press Channel 4 - Dara: the tale of Two Islams hits the stage The Telegraph - Peter Tatchell - "Every child in Britain should see the National's latest play: Dara dramatises the historic struggle against Islamist extremism - it can reach people that political debate cannot." The Guardian - "The story of Dara, the newest production to take to the boards at the National Theatre, is one that begins thousands of miles away from the concrete jungle of London’s South Bank."TimeOut - "Where do we find stories about Pakistan… that also affect us in Britain? That’s a question outgoing NT artistic director Nicholas Hytner asked, and this is the epic and often highly affecting response. A magnificently ambitious project…The best scene by far – and one it’s easy to imagine will be studied in schools – is when Dara is brought before the Sharia court in Delhi, and is forced to prove that he is a true Muslim."
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First Class of Change-Makers Graduate from Salzburg Global-Inspired Program to Tackle Extremism
Students from Thabo Secondary School outside the Johannesburg Holocaust & Genocide Centre Picture: Catherine Boyd
First Class of Change-Makers Graduate from Salzburg Global-Inspired Program to Tackle Extremism
Salzburg Global Seminar 
School pupils in Johannesburg, South Africa, have become the first graduates of a Salzburg Global-inspired program to promote pluralism and tackle extremism in Africa. Students from Thabo Secondary School recently became the first to complete the Change Makers Leadership Program, a project which grew out of Salzburg Global during Session 564 - Learning from the Past: Promoting Pluralism and Countering Extremism. The Change Makers Leadership Program was one of several projects designed at the session. It is currently being piloted in South Africa and Rwanda and could expand across other African countries in 2018. The Program, created by Salzburg Global Fellows Tali Nates, Richard Freedman, Freddy Mutanguha, and Mubigalo Aloys Mahwa, focuses on students aged between 15 and 18. During these sessions, students develop the skills required to challenge extremism and encourage social cohesion. The students learn these skills by examining the past, using case studies from the Holocaust, the Genocide in Rwanda, and Apartheid in South Africa. The Program addresses several themes, including history, genocide, consequences, and peace-building. Different concepts such as critical thinking, empathy, trust, and personal responsibility are also emphasized. Speaking earlier this year, Nates, director of the Johannesburg Holocaust and Genocide Centre, said they planned to “bring our experiences to politicians, education policymakers, media, and civil society leaders.” A final report of the program will be presented at Salzburg Global next week during Session 589 – Learning from the Past: Sharing Experiences across Borders to Combat Extremism. This session will involve discussions on how to scale up pilot projects designed during Session 564. Projects will be further refined and modified for implementation elsewhere. Participants will also come away with new resources and leadership tools to increase their efforts to combat rising intolerance and to promote peace within their own societies. Both Session 589 and 564 are part of Salzburg Global’s multi-year Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention Program, which has been held in partnership with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum since 2010. The Program initially began by working with the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), a multilateral organization of mostly Western European and North American countries to promote Holocaust education and remembrance. Through a series of global and regional gatherings, the Program has gone onto expand its outreach by engaging with participants from more than 40 non-IHRA countries on six continents, many of which had a recent experience of mass atrocities. Salzburg Global Seminar has created a network of individuals and NGOs across these countries and strives to help them extend their collaborative work, allowing practitioners to identify cross-regional strategies to empower institutions and individuals with tools for ethical education, peaceful conflict resolution, and pluralistic societies. The Program is beginning to facilitate support to practitioners’ work through the Program’s expanding network, whereby a bottom-up approach can inform and influence effective public policy both in the participants’ countries and in western countries striving to address the same issues and to determine what methodologies or tools can be leveraged in different contexts. The pilot projects launched as a result of Session 564 were made possible thanks to the support of the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office, with additional support from the Robert Bosch Stiftung.
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Kolkata mass violence and tolerance conference draws on Salzburg Global expertise
Salzburg Global Fellows Stephanie Rotem and Navras Jaat Aafreedi, with Program Director Charles Ehrlich and Senior Advisor Edward Mortimer
Kolkata mass violence and tolerance conference draws on Salzburg Global expertise
Charles Ehrlich 
Salzburg Global Seminar featured prominently at an international multi-disciplinary conference on “Prevention of Mass Violence and Promotion of Tolerance: Lessons from History” at Presidency University in Kolkata, India, on 27-28 February 2017. Convened by Salzburg Global Fellow Navras Jaat Aafreedi (Fellow of Holocaust and Genocide Education: Sharing Experience Across Borders), this conference brought together scholars from Australia, Austria, Canada, India, Israel, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Participants included Salzburg Global Program Director Charles Ehrlich, Senior Advisor Edward Mortimer, and Fellow Stephanie Rotem (Cultural Institutions without Walls: New Models of Arts-Community Interaction).   The conference took place as part of a high-profile series of events to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the founding of Presidency University, India’s oldest institution of higher education – originally founded as Hindoo College in 1817. The celebrations aim to draw visibility to some of the university’s accomplishments, and this particular conference highlighted a new course on Holocaust and genocide studies established at the university this academic year, the first of its kind in South Asia. Aafreedi established the course in part drawing from his experience participating in the Salzburg Global Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention (HEGP) Program. “History, the way it is being taught, is often a victim of propaganda. Regimes often place their stooges in all the key positions at the premier institutions of the country for the creation of a vicious atmosphere. Political regimes can't succeed in carrying out their evil designs if scholars do not give them the backroom support for petty gains,” Aafreedi told the Times of India, one of India’s leading broadsheets, which featured it with a front page article. Ehrlich, invited as the current director of the HEGP Program, presented a paper on “Holocaust, propaganda, and the distortion of history in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union,” and chaired the final afternoon roundtable discussion.  Mortimer, who founded the HEGP Program in 2010 during his tenure as Chief Program Officer, chaired the introductory panel on “Prevention of Mass Violence” and presented a paper on “Reflections on the Responsibility to Protect.” Rotem’s paper focused on “Holocaust Commemoration in Museums: Teaching Universal or Unique Lessons.” The conference discussions, and in particular the final roundtable chaired by Ehrlich, examined what one participant called “truth as the first victim” of intolerance and whether to regulate or combat hateful or false speech; unhelpful conflicting narratives both of “comparative genocide” as well as definitions of “victimhood”; and whether the role of education should be for the purpose of aiding healing, dialogue, apologies, prevention of future atrocities, or some combination thereof. Although the participants did not necessarily agree across the discussions, the common conclusion emerged that it is important to ensure the next generation has the analytical tools to learn from history in order to combat intolerance. Since 2010, Salzburg Global Seminar has implemented the HEGP Program in partnership with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Through a series of global and regional gatherings, the multi-year series has engaged participants from more than 30 countries, the majority of which are non-Western countries outside the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, and many of which have a recent experience of mass atrocities. The program series has established a network of individuals and NGOs across East Asia, South Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and the former Soviet Union, and strives to deepen and extend their collaborative work, allowing practitioners to identify cross-regional strategies to empower institutions and individuals with tools for ethical education and peaceful conflict resolution. Currently, with support of the United Kingdom’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Salzburg Global Seminar is supporting the implementation of activities in Cambodia, Egypt, Morocco, Pakistan, Rwanda, and South Africa to promote pluralism and combat extremism, using the lessons learned from the Holocaust and other mass atrocities as examples of what can happen when hatred goes unchecked, connecting educators, activists, and others dedicated to preventing mass atrocities and genocide to advance knowledge exchange, test institutional development plans, and design long-term strategies to combat extremism and its consequences.
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Fellows collaborate to tackle extremism in Africa
Fellows collaborate to tackle extremism in Africa
Denise Macalino 
Eighty years since the first Jewish detainees were murdered in the Dachau Concentration Camp, and the world is still grappling with the question of how the Holocaust was able to happen. In the decades following, the political slogan “Never Again” has rung hollow in societies affected by other 20th century genocides in Cambodia, Bosnia and Rwanda. The questions remain: How can genocide be deterred? Can the lessons from the Holocaust and other genocides serve as a theoretical and practical barrier to the possibility of future generations committing mass atrocities? What can the global community learn from the international application of Holocaust education to help us understand how to prevent violence in the future? What practical role can Holocaust education play in societies still grappling with difficult legacies of mass violence and genocide?Salzburg Global’s 2016 Session, Learning from the Past: Promoting Pluralism and Countering Extremism, brought together participants from countries recently troubled and recovering from the effects of mass, targeted violence. South Africans Tali Nates and Richard Freedman and Rwandans Freddy Mutanguha, Mubigalo Aloys Mahwa, left the session with a hopeful answer to tackling extremism through education. Facilitated by Salzburg Global Seminar, they have created this course to counter extremism and promote pluralism by learning from the difficult past through the Holocaust, the genocide in Rwanda, and Apartheid in South Africa. The aim of this collaboration is to build resistance to violence and help students develop the skills to challenge extremism. Their course is currently being piloted in South Africa and Rwanda, and if evaluated successfully, will be launched in a number of other African countries. Fellows Tali Nates, Richard Freedman, Freddy Mutanguha, and Aloys Mahwa are utilizing connections formed at Salzburg Global to reach audiences beyond South Africa and Rwanda, and to bring their program to scale. Tali Nates, Director of the Johannesburg Holocaust and Genocide Centre, stated that with the help of Salzburg Global, they plan to “bring our experiences to politicians, education policymakers, media, and civil society leaders.” By engaging specialists from multiple sectors, they plan to create lasting, positive impact for students around the continent.Salzburg Global is able to continue this kind of positive work thanks to our generous donors, who believe in our mission. This collaboration, and further initiatives started at Salzburg Global would not be possible without our partners and funders. We’d like to express our gratitude to the United Stated Holocaust Memorial Museum, Foreign & Commonwealth Office, and the Bosch Foundation, which supported the Fellows mentioned in this article.
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Hakima Fassi Fihri - "We don't open a curriculum unless we know it meets a demand of the job market."
Hakima Fassi Fihri - "We don't open a curriculum unless we know it meets a demand of the job market."
Chris Hamill-Stewart 
The International University of Rabat (UIR), Morocco, has become known for developing a model of innovative teaching, renowned for its professionalism and rigor at a national and international level. During the Salzburg Global session, Learning from the Past: Promoting Pluralism and Countering Extremism, Hakima Fassi Fihri, Director of International Relations and Partnerships at UIR, explained what role she felt the institution played. Figures obtained by the World Bank in 2014 indicated 20.2 per cent of the youth labor force in Morocco were unemployed. Fihri says this remains an “important issue”, one in which institutions like UIR are looking to address. This unemployment rate, however, is set against a backdrop of an increasingly dynamic business environment in Morocco.  Fihri suggests academic programs in some universities have failed to keep up with a “shifting” job market. At UIR, however, this isn’t the case. Fihri says, “At UIR, the curriculum that we offer at Rabat is designed to fit the needs of the job market in Morocco. This means we don’t open a curriculum unless we know it meets a demand of the job market.” UIR was the first university to be set up as part of a partnership between the state and the private sector in the higher education field. It offers a multidisciplinary education where language learning is considered an integral part of education. Fihri says, “[Languages] are very important to us - students study in French and English.”  This, combined with mandatory internships on all degrees, semesters spent abroad, and international students coming from partner universities, enables students to receive a well-rounded education. Fihri says, “Being multilingual and having work experience, within and outside Morocco, makes a huge difference to your employability.” Graduates are being offered opportunities to find a jobs within the first few months, according to Fihri. She says, “We give them better opportunities because we innovate our curriculums. We don’t just use the traditional way of teaching. We also add obligatory internships throughout their degrees. Internships are used as a credit activity. In masters and bachelors (courses), they must complete them. You learn much more than what you would through the classroom alone when you do an internship.”  Fihri says she believes in the value of academic diplomacy, the capability of universities to foster dialogue across geographic, cultural and religious boundaries. By working with institutions across the world, and facilitating dialogue between these cultures, Fihri believes UIR is helping to change people’s stereotypes about Morocco and the region itself. She says, “I believe in academic diplomacy, which means universities play a role in international relations. So, it is important. We have not only a duty to educate in terms of academia, but also educate in terms of behavior and critical thinking for our students, to give them [the] ability to question their certainties and their beliefs, and question and debate everything.” Hakima Fassi Fihri was a participant at the Salzburg Global session Learning from the Past: Promoting Pluralism and Countering Extremism is part of the multi-year series Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention. The series is being hosted in partnership with The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and with support from the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office. More information on the session can be found here: www.salzburgglobal.org/go/564  
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Learning from the Past - Promoting Pluralism and Countering Extremism
Learning from the Past: Promoting Pluralism and Countering Extremism
Learning from the Past - Promoting Pluralism and Countering Extremism
Chris Hamill-Stewart 
Eighty years since the first Jewish detainees were killed in the Dachau Concentration Camp, the world is still grappling with the question of how the Holocaust was able to happen. In the decades that followed, the political slogan “Never Again” has rung hollow in societies affected by other 20th century genocides in Cambodia, Bosnia and Rwanda. The question remains: How can genocide be prevented? The Salzburg Global Seminar session Learning from the Past: Promoting Pluralism and Countering Extremism, part of the Salzburg Global series Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention, taking place December 1 to 3 at Schloss Leopoldskron, Salzburg, Austria, will address this question in more expanded context than in previous programs to examine political extremism in countries across the world. Through a series of global and regional gatherings, and in partnership with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Program has already engaged participants from more than 30 countries since its inauguration in 2010, the majority of which are outside the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, and many of which have a recent experience of mass atrocities.Learning from the Past: Promoting Pluralism and Countering Extremism, with support from the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, will bring together representatives from schools, museums, remembrance sites, and other institutions seeking to maximize their impact in combatting extremism. The session will focus on countries where recent mass atrocities or discrimination have made them particularly susceptible to a rise in extremism that threatens their communities, regions, and the world. Participants will be encouraged to examine the history of the Holocaust as an example of what can happen when hatred goes unchecked and to search out contemporary connections, including the role played by anti-Semitism and other forms of intolerance in the participating countries. They will use highly collaborative workshops to exchange expertise and experiences, drawing upon this to draft plans for their institutions’ development.  “The participants coming to Salzburg for this session are looking for ways to reach out to the youth in their countries, particularly those who feel somehow marginalized,” says Salzburg Global Program Director Charles Ehrlich. “Those in rural, remote, or disadvantaged backgrounds are also particularly vulnerable – the session will help them learn the lessons of the past, and help them create a world and a future that they want to live in.”This year’s session will lay the groundwork for the following year, in which peer advisory visits to participating countries will connect educators, activists, and others dedicated to preventing mass atrocities and genocide to advance knowledge exchange, test institutional development plans, and design long-term institutional strategies to combat extremism and its consequences.  Scholars, educators and policy makers agree that Holocaust education can be an effective tool for educating students and the public about the importance of protecting democracy and human rights. Holocaust education helps to prevent racism and anti-Semitism, and promotes mutual respect between people of different races, religions, and cultures. This Salzburg Global session will be another important part of the process of using lessons learned from the Holocaust to turn “Never Again” from a political slogan, into a reality. The Salzburg Global session Learning from the Past: Promoting Pluralism and Countering Extremism is part of the multi-year series Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention. The series is being hosted in partnership with The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and with support from the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office. More information on the session can be found here: www.salzburgglobal.org/go/564  
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