Thursday, 30 April 2015

Prague Shared and Divided: Intercultural memory in the public space (conference report)

On Wednesday, 15 April, Multicultural Center Prague (MKC Prague) held a conference entitled Prague Shared and Divided: Intercultural Memory in the Public Space. MKC Prague's director Marek Čaněk greeted about seventy attendees and presented the Prague Shared and Divided project which focuses on the legacy of Prague's multicultural history in the 20th century: "Having been inspired by the historian Ines Koeltzsch, we want to relate the history of both the ethnic and social conflicts and the divisions of society, as well as the sharing and everyday life in the public spaces." He spoke about the afternoon program as well as plans for the future. "Prague Shared and Divided is no longer just a project, but is now a whole program of MKC Prague, which we want to develop further," said Čaněk. He then turned the floor over to Kateřina Hamplová from the Office of the Czech Government, who is a representative of the Europe for Citizens EU program, which provided the main support for the Prague Shared and Divided project.

Sociologist Csaba Szaló from Brno's Masaryk University gave the opening lecture. He spoke about the modern-day obsession with the past in urban spaces, focusing specifically on ruins and their role in today's society. He emphasized that our relationship to urban ruins is not only a way to connect to the past, but also shows our view of the present and the future. In his lecture, Szaló asked if ruins allow us to see the problematic and contradictory character of the 20th century, during which next to "positive modernity" that promised a better future there was also "negative modernity", which led to the catastrophes of the two world wars. The interaction of the dynamics of hope and the dynamics of catastrophe can be used, according to Csaba Szaló, not only to critically reflect on modernity, but also to draw connections between the past, present and the future.

Anna Lénárd from Budapest introduced the block of lectures focused on the use of guided walks as one of the methods to discover an intercultural city and historical memory. She briefly introduced the Budapest Walk Shop, saying that she understands the walks around the city with her colleagues as a particular form of artistic expression, which incorporates various elements from descriptive narration, to emotional and sensory aspects of perceiving a city and creating emotive bonds with buildings. For Lénárd, a guided city walk is above all an opportunity for discussion and sharing of experiences - it is not as important whether you learn something new or not. The panel discussion that followed, which was moderated by Anna Lénárd, included Eva Bendová from the National Gallery in Prague, Richard Biegel from Klub Za starou Prahu (Club for Old Prague), Anna Czyżewska from the Warsaw association Pracownia Etnograficzna (Ethnographic workshop), and journalist Petr Brod. The discussion covered a number of topics including changes in city districts and the often incongruous layers of the past, which can be discovered during the walks; the structure of the walks and how they are led, the differences between the more conservative and progressive ways of showing a city; how the experience of being a 'guide' on such walks influenced the individual participants in their subsequent work.

An important output of the Prague Shared and Divided project are the memory maps of Prague and Warsaw. The next block at the conference was thus focused on memory maps and various approaches to their creation and presentation on the internet. Jérôme Segal (The Vienna Project) also spoke about artistic activities happening in the streets of Vienna. The map created by the project that is available online was created more as a work of art rather than an educational interactive map. A project that was presented by Olha Zarechnyuk (Lviv Interactive Project) was, on the other hand, based primarily on the interest of the creators in architecture and art history, which became a link to a variety of other topics (archives, famous personalities, interviews, organizations, maps, photographs). Anna Pokorná from Multicultural Center Prague explained why her organization decided to focus on history, and presented the recently launched interactive map of Prague and Warsaw. Over time, new topics will be added to the map, which is conceptualized as an open platform which new individuals, organizations or schools can join and thus contribute to mapping the past and the present of multicultural Prague. Miloš Vojtěchovský (Sounds of Prague) presented an alternative way of creating virtual maps of cities, namely an open audio map of Prague, which currently contains more than 960 contributions from 40 people and tries to capture the sound of a place as the object of attention. One of the topics of the subsequent panel discussion was to what extent we should talk about the historical manifestations of discrimination, xenophobia and racism as we try to fight these phenomena in today's society. Jérôme Segal underlined the role of modern art, especially art appearing in the streets, "since people that should learn about these phenomena first of all, probably do not often go on guided walks and look at website of these types of projects". Michal Valach (Milan Šimečku Foundation) also took part in the panel discussion and described a similar project in Bratislava, which is still in the early planning stages and aims to show the current multiculturalism of the Slovak capital.

The last part of the conference was dedicated to research and educational activities that accompanied the creation of the memory map of Prague, as part of the Prague Shared and Divided project. Roma Studies expert Romana Hudousková made a presentation that explained how the elements on the map dedicated to the history of Prague's Romani community were compiled. Because an important part of this process was recording interviews with witnesses of the times and events, one of them, Olga Fečová, also attended the conference and spoke about her memories of the Romani community in Prague after World War Two. The next presentation by Tereza Rejšková demonstrated didactic methodology of teaching about Wenceslas Square in Prague, which was developed in the course of the project in cooperation with the historian and teacher Milan Hes. Tereza Rejšková outlined the main perspectives of the methodology (time, space, people and significance of places) and presented the worksheets created for teachers and students. The last two presentations at the conference were focused on the research and educational activities that came out of the work concerning places connected to the persecution and murder of Jews and people considered to be Jewish. Jakub Mlynář (Centrum vizuální historie Malach) briefly introduced the Visual History Archive of the USC Shoah Foundation, which contains more than 53,000 audio recordings of interviews with witnesses and is fully accessible for researchers, teachers and others at Charles University in Prague. This archive was one of the sources used by students at the Lauder schools to prepare information about German refugees that was incorporated into the Prague Shared and Divided memory map. The final presentation was actually done by these students under the direction of their teacher Klára Kuběnová.

Friday, 10 April 2015

Call for registrations for "Change: Combining History Learning and Human Rights Education" e-learning course

Change: Combining History Learning and Human Rights EducationHREA, the Free University Berlin and “right now” will be offering a pilot course “Change: Combining History Learning and Human Rights Education” from 13 May-23 June 2015This six-week online course will be oriented towards the introduction and use of a new handbook for blending history education and human rights education. It is intended for educators in higher education and the schooling sector as well as trainers working at memorial sites, museums and in non-formal education.
The e-learning course is part of the project “Historical Learning meets Human Rights Education: A Combined Approach to Exploring the History of National Socialism”, funded by the German "Remembrance, Responsibility and Future" Foundation.
Click here for more information and to submit an application. Application deadline: 25 April 2015.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Conference Prague Shared and Divided: Intercultural Memory in the Public Space

15th April 2015, 12:30 pm to 6 pm
Impact Hub Praha, Drtinova 557/10, Prague 5 – Smíchov

Cities and places carry symbolic meanings and interpretations of the past. How are these meanings shaped and presented and what is their relationship to contemporary national identity? How is the history of minorities inscribed or not inscribed in the memory of the city? What alternative interpretations of memory of shared places can we find? How can these alternative interpretations be presented by guided walks and an on-line map and what is their education use?
Czech and international experts will discuss the project and various aspects of the memory of cities and places, as well as experiences of leading guided walks and using an on-line map.
For more information and program see the pdf invitation
The working languages of the conference are English and Czech. 

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

HRE 2020 Newsletter, Issue #2, March 2015

Dear Colleagues,

Please find below the latest newsletter of HRE 2020: Global Coalition for Human Rights Education. DARE is a member of the coalition.

Best wishes,

Sophie Feintuch
HRE 2020 Coordinator

Sophie Feintuch, Program Associate
Human Rights Education Associates (HREA)
Lange Noordstraat 1, 4331 CB Middelburg, the Netherlands
Skype ID: sophiefeintuch | E-mail: | Web:

HRE 2020: Global Coalition for Human Rights Education
HRE 2020 Newsletter
Issue #2, March 2015
One-year anniversary of HRE 2020

HRE 2020 marked its one-year anniversary on 19 December 2014. During its first year, the coalition has built vital foundations to engage effectively with policy makers in order to achieve our goal of strengthening accountability for the implementation of human rights education programmes.
“One of the most exciting aspects of our advocacy activities at the UN level has been the tremendous value added of the work in coalition with other civil society organisations to increase international visibility and achieve greater impact. The work we have done this year with HRE 2020 shows the power of a global coalition speaking with a unified voice for human rights education”, said Sneh Aurora, International Human Rights Education Manager at Amnesty International.
HRE 2020 has engaged with Treaty Bodies and Special Procedures, worked within the UPR process and has actively contributed to international meetings and debates. Says Kazunari Fujii, Director of the Soka Gakkai International UN Liaison Office in Geneva: “HRE 2020 remains strongly committed to these efforts as we aim to bring greater awareness of human rights education commitments within civil society, governments, treaty bodies and other stakeholders”.
In September 2014, HRE 2020 member Human Rights Educators USA (HRE USA) submitted the first Universal Periodic Review stakeholder report on human rights education in the United States. HRE USA coordinated several civil society consultations to assess the government’s implementation of recommendations from the first cycle and identify policy recommendations to improve HRE within the school curriculum, teacher training and the school environment.
HRE 2020 aims to make sure human rights education goes beyond empty promises to developing the skills and attitudes to promote equality, dignity and people’s participation in decision-making processes. "We still have a long road ahead of us for making the human right to human rights education a reality for everyone. Progress has been made, but a lot remains to be done", said Adele Poskitt (HREA), Coordinator of the HRE 2020 coalition during its first year.
HRE 2020 Members Meeting: HRE within the UPR process

Human rights education is in the top ten most-raised issues within the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process, a peer-review of government's human rights records. Since the UPR was established in 2006, there have been over 1,400 recommendations to around 70 different countries on implementing human rights education and training. The most frequent recommendations include: awareness-raising campaigns on violence against women/children’s rights/discrimination; adoption of a national plan of action; training for law enforcement officials; human rights education in schools and teacher training.
Top-10 most raised issues
Beyond Promises. UPR Info (2014)

On 24 November 2014, HRE 2020 hosted a meeting with coalition members and other stakeholders to discuss how to use the UPR process to hold governments more accountable. During the meeting, HRE 2020 members took stock of recommendations that have been made so far in the first and second cycle of the UPR and discussed national initiatives to monitor and report existing recommendations.
To learn more about human rights education in the UPR, see the meeting notes of the recent HRE 2020 Members Meeting.
Human Rights Educators USA
HRE USA submits first report on HRE to the UPR

HRE 2020 member Human Rights Educators USA, together with the US Human Rights Network, successfully submitted the first national civil society report on human rights education to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on 12 September 2014. This document is a status report on policies and practices in human rights education in US schools, based on information the network collected from an online survey and stakeholder meetings that took place in San Francisco, New York City and Boston during the summer of 2014.
This 10-page report, was prepared for the 22nd session of the UN’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR). The UPR takes place every 4½ years and is an opportunity to review the status of implementation of human rights education and training at the national level. This is the second review cycle for the United States, who received three recommendations specifically focused on HRE in the first cycle.
The HRE USA stakeholder report contained 15 recommendations in the areas of curriculum, teacher training, school environments and engagement with international human rights standards.
Recent HRE 2020 Activities
This section contains information about HRE 2020 international advocacy activities and HRE 2020 national initiatives by members.
United Nations in Geneva
World Programme for Human Rights Education: Outcomes of the Second PhaseSide-event at the Human Rights Council 28th Session, 17 March 2015, Palais des Nations, Geneva

“The right to human rights education is an established right enshrined in international and regional instruments and documents. States must make good on their human rights education commitments”, according to Sneh Aurora (HRE 2020) at the side event 'World Programme for Human Rights Education: Outcomes of the Second Phase'.
The event, organized by the NGO Working Group on Human Rights Education and Learning and co-sponsored by the governmental Platform for Human Rights Education and Training, brought together some 50 participants, mostly from civil society in addition to delegates of several governments and the United Nations to discuss the achievements and shortcomings of the second phase of the World Programme for Human Rights Education (WPHRE).

States were encouraged to submit a national evaluation report on the second phase of the WPHRE so that a comprehensive global report which identifies gaps, good practices and future possible strategies for human rights education can be prepared by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

HRE 2020 called on UN mechanisms to ensure the WPHRE continues to promote a common understanding of basic principles and methodologies of human rights education by providing a concrete framework for reporting and monitoring. UN mechanisms must make greater reference to the UN Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training, the WPHRE and other relevant international treaties and include references to human rights education and training in concluding observations, general comments and recommendations. Read HRE 2020's full presentation.
Member Profile: IPEDEHP
Each edition of the HRE 2020 newsletter includes a profile of a coalition member.
The Peruvian Institute for Education in Human Rights and Peace is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation based in Lima, Peru. 
Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, the Instituto Peruano de Educación en Derechos Humanos y la Paz (IPEDEHP) promotes the development of attitudes and capabilities for the exercise of citizenship practices and public policy that strengthen democracy and the guarantee of human rights. IPEDEHP works in primary and secondary public schools and in teacher training institutes and also conducts advocacy work to influence education policy. IPEDEHP trains social actors to contribute positively to the socioeconomic, political, cultural and environmental dynamics in Peru, with a focus on ending abuse, discrimination, and rights violations.
HRE 2020 is a global civil society coalition that promotes human rights education through advocacy. It works with civil society, governments and international organizations to support and strengthen the monitoring and implementation of international standards on and commitments to human rights education.  
HRE 2020 welcomes suggestions and contributions for our newsletter. Please contact us at