Memory and Responsibility During and After Mass Violence

Our Roundtable brings together an interdisciplinary group of artists, community leaders and scholars to consider how and why people forget, deny or remember responsibility for mass violence.

During and following periods of mass violence, confusion arises over who did what and why, as well as who is responsible. Memory projects address questions of responsibility through the documentation of facts, recognition of loss, contesting denial and assigning blame. Official, often state-created or endorsed memory projects include trials, truth commissions, national inquiries, commissioned works of art or monuments, and the creation of museums or archives. Such projects exist alongside unofficial, often victim-led and community-based memory projects, such as the creation of public shrines or tributes to the dead, large-scale marches, sit-ins, protests and demonstrations, and creative works such as memory quilts, public art installations or music. Combined, these initiatives usher into public debate the question of a) who is responsible, politically, legally and morally for mass violence, and b) what is our responsibility as a society to resist or denounce violence?

Participants will share reflections and experiences across diverse spaces of violence within Colombia, Indonesia, Mozambique, Uganda, Pakistan, Canada and the United States.

Co-organized by: Pilar Riaño-Alcalá, Sheryl Lightfoot, Erin Baines and with Omer Aijazi


Contact Name

Erin Baines