A network across frontiers

Anna Kaminsky is managing director of the Bundesstiftung Aufarbeitung, the Federal Foundation for the Reappraisal of the SED-Dictatorship in Eastern Germany. She participated in the Mandela Dialogues on Memory Work 1.

Inspired by the experience of the unconventional methods and techniques of deep dialogue applied during the Mandela Dialogues, Anna together with other participants initiated an International Dialogue Conference titled “Memory, Justice, Reconciliation?!” in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The conference was realised in cooperation with the Archive of the Citizens Movement, (Leipzig, Germany), the Global Leadership Academy and the Centre for Nonviolent Action, the latter also hosting the conference in Sarajevo.

The Mandela Dialogues meant twelve days of dialogue and reflection, tangible inspiration, and the identification of numerous areas of common ground for its participants. The 26 participants of the Mandela Dialogues have become a community of deep trust and understanding: an informal, enriching global network that is engaged in many facets of memory work and transitional justice. To enable a similarly inspiring experience for other memory workers, the Bundesstiftung Aufarbeitung has initiated a special scholarship programme for international exchange on memory work. Every year since 2015, at least three memory workers have spent three months in another institution dealing with experiences of dictatorships and reigns of violence, learning about different histories, approaches and ultimately creating a worldwide network among those engaged with the challenging tasks of memory work.

“Many participants were bolstered because they got to know that they are not alone with their experience of exclusion and hostility but part of a community” writes Dr. Anna Kaminsky in her article about Transitional Justice for the PeaceLab Blog.

Contributing to the global goals