In societies affected by conflict, learning from the past can prevent violence and contribute to sustainable peace. However, for these societies collective memory is often fragmented and mirrors societal inequalities. State institutions sometimes enforce amnesia over the past and dictate who is allowed to speak. The heritage of the conflict remains, therefore, unresolved and fuels new outbursts of violence and instability. This project uses an interdisciplinary toolkit that includes historiography, political analysis and participatory arts methods to look at how bottom-up practices are used to deal with heritage as a way to heal trauma, demand justice and build sustainable peace. By exploring informal/personal archives and oral narratives from Lebanon’s Civil War (1975-1990) and Syria’s ongoing conflict (2011-) the project explores bottom-up practices that challenge amnesia and hegemonic discourses of conflict by creating spaces for dialogue antagonised by formal institutions.
Dr Daniele Rugo and Professor Nina Parish have edited a supplementary issue of the Journal of the British Academy (June 2021), with contributions from across the wider team.
Research Team: Dr Daniele Rugo, Brunel University London; Dr Carmen Abou Jaoude, Saint-Joseph University, Lebanon; Professor Nina Parish, University of Stirling