Public and Free Interactive Exhibition
Education for Peace: Preventing Genocide at Its Roots
Can we imagine peace and reconciliation without remembering?
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24 – 28 September 2018, Palais des Nations, Geneva
1 – 12 October 2018, Campus des Nations, International School of Geneva
15 – 26 October 2018, Uni Dufour, University of Geneva
29 October – 2 November 2018, Palais des Nations, Geneva
Background: Remembering and Learning to Live Together
Can we imagine peace and reconciliation without remembering? Acknowledging the presence of some truly dark pages in the history of our global humanity, especially in its most recent period, constitutes an important element of ensuring that grave violations of basic human rights and freedoms are avoided in the future. Having the promotion of peace at the core of its mandate, the United Nations consistently commemorates the victims of the most appalling cases of crimes against humanity, such as Holocaust, massacres in Kosovo or the grievously famous 1994 Genocide in Rwanda. This is a way not only to pay the tribute to the memory of thousands of innocent lives, but also to showcase that there is no such a level of development or technological progress that could make us completely immune to some ominous aberrations in human behaviour towards each other.
However, recognizing past crimes is only the first in the long sequence of steps needed to be taken in order to build a peaceful and collaborative future. Conflicts form an inherent part of our everyday experience, and therefore being able to tackle them constructively is an essential life skill that should be acquired from the early stages of child development, not least of all with the help of adults. In this sense, eliminating the mere opportunity of a resort to violence as a way of conflict resolution through innovative, participative and critical educational programmes is the surest mechanism of early conflict prevention at every level: from the interpersonal to the community and the international one. This widely adopted vision is driving experts and think-tanks to design and educational institutions – to increasingly integrate into their curriculums the elements of peace education. The latter enjoys various forms of delivery: from traditional courses to informal activities, like those involving artistic or game components, among else. Training adults – parents, teachers, activists and policymakers – who could maintain and lead cutting-edge educational projects as peace educators is not a minor issue either.
These considerations have inspired UNITAR and Aegis Trust to join forces to together design a distinctive exhibition package, composed of mobile elements, enabling its smooth installation at various venues. The exhibition will start its journey around Geneva from the Palais des Nations in September 2018, and will proceed to other venues within educational institutions (prospectively: the University of Geneva, the Graduate Institute, and the International School of Geneva) later during the fall. The exhibition will as well coincide with the programme of activities organized by the same partners within the framework of Geneva Peace Week 2018, and, in particular, will constitute a part of peace education trainings for all interested organizations.
The exhibition is designed with a European audience in mind. It raises numerous questions about “Never Again”, especially relevant in the context of rising extremism, hate speech and hate crime in Europe.
The exhibition has three objectives:
- Raising awareness that genocide is predictable and preventable, that choices are possible allowing the path to mass atrocities to be reversed.
- Engaging the audience in critical thinking, empathy and taking moral courage and responsibility to prevent and protect.
- Sharing positive role models/stories (gendered).