Societies which have experienced conflict and reached a peace accord have difficulty in moving from "negative" to "positive" peace. Often remembering and commemorating the difficult past presents particular challenges in the reconciliation process for governments, civil society and history educators. Northern Ireland is no exception to this.
This conference will take place close to Easter, 2016. In the spring and summer of that year two important events are being commemorated locally, the Easter Rising and the first day of the Battle of the Somme, both of which, subsequently, have helped shape cultural and political attitudes in Northern Ireland.
These occasions can be exclusive and therefore cause community tensions but there is also the potential to re-examine their significance from a wider range of perspectives including the present and, thereby, re-imagine the contribution this deeper understanding might make to building a transformative peace. Participants attending the conference would have the opportunity to engage with the on-going debate within civil society as to how best these events might be handled, to experience educational initiatives to help young people better understand the Decade's historical and contemporary importance and to reflect on how similar events are remembered in their own countries.
The conference aims to explore the question of “How to teach controversial history in a responsible manner” through a highly (inter)active and engaging programme with workshops, dialogue tables, open spaces, on-site study visits, public debate and reflective and interactive panels. The conference will provide a platform of intercultural exchange in which the participants will actively learn, share best practices and network. These and more questions on the environment of the history educator in 21st century will be the points to peer-learn on 6 full course days at a Unique International Conference.