Between 3 and 6 March 2014 the Nelson Mandela Foundation and GIZ Global Leadership Academy (which is commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Co-operation and Development, BMZ) brought together 24 participants from 10 countries to engage in the second of a three-part dialogue series on memory work. The final dialogue will take place in Berlin in July 2014.
This dialogue process provides an international forum to discuss the complex personal, collective and professional challenges facing those engaged in reckoning with the past. Through different layers and modes of engagement the process aims to reinvigorate debates about memory work and how we do it; and offer new approaches, new questions and challenges to existing paradigms.
Unlike traditional workshops, seminars or conferences, the dialogue takes place without formal presentations. Rather, the content is created by the participants and enabled by a skilled team of facilitators. The second dialogue took place over four days and included sessions designed to enable a progression of conversations between participants.
While stimulating debate, discussion and sharing practice is central to the dialogue, engagement with the history and current landscape for memory work in the host country is an essential part of the process. In Cambodia seven Cambodian guests joined participants on the second day of the dialogue and spent time discussing their work and experiences with the group. Participants could choose one of three site visits – a city tour led by history students; a tour of Tuol Sleng detention and torture facility, or a visit to the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC). Some of the Cambodian guests joined them on these visits.