Currently viewing the tag: "human rights memorial"

“Are you looking for the museo?” Having taken the wrong metro exit, I surely looked like the standard lost gringa standing on a corner in the old neighborhood of Barrio Brasil on Santiago’s west side. It was on that corner that I found that a simple request for directions to the Museum of Memory could [...]

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It is no accident that a museum would provide the context for an unexpected and powerful human rights intervention. And, although Wiesel’s provocation cannot be understood absent the particular circumstances of Holocaust memorialization and contemporary genocide, the inherent potential of museums to spark new forms of human rights activism is not limited to this framework. In the years since 1993, museums are increasingly testing the waters of engagement on human rights issues.

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Finally the African Union is able to acknowledge the massacre of Abu Salim prison as one of the major human rights violations in Africa like the Apartheid racial system in South Africa, and the genocide in Rwanda, and the slave trade in Africa, etc. The African Union human rights memorial, itself on [...]

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As we all recall, on 28 January 2012, our Heads of State and Government laid the foundation stone for the AU Human Rights Memorial (AUHRM) during the inauguration of the new AU Conference Centre and Office Complex. This is a very important project not only to preserve the memory of mass atrocities but also to prevent future recurrence of such crimes. We should, therefore, spare no effort to enable this Memorial achieve its central objective of becoming a permanent centre where people from all over the world gather to reflect on the sanctity of life. It should also serve as a place where our policy makers renew their collective commitment to prevent atrocious crimes such as genocide from happening ever again on our continent.

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The role of memorials is to remember. As symbolic interpretations of the past, they are sites where memories meet, merge, mismatch and mark relationships between past, present and future. Memorials give the past tangibility and they provide the symbolic space for both celebration, through triumphant monuments, and mourning, through embodying loss. As a result of [...]

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The US Naval base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, GTMO, has been an integral part of American politics and policy for more than a century. Its foundation was laid in 1903, when the US exacted a lease with Cuba granting Cuba total sovereignty over the territory, but the US total jurisdiction – creating a “legal black hole” and laboratory for addressing unprecedented threats. The unique qualities of the site – its legal ambiguity, political isolation and geographic proximity, and architectures of confinement – have been used and reused to detain people who fall between the boundaries of legal protections and political imperatives. Its detention infrastructure was laid long before 9-11: for suspected enemy spies in the Cold War; for over 20,000 Haitian refugees subject to the first mass screening for HIV; for more than 30,000 Cuban rafters rescued at sea held while President Clinton renegotiated immigration laws. Today, facilities for new uses are now being constructed. The 1903 lease with Cuba grants the US total jurisdiction over the bay until both countries agree to end the arrangement. For better or for worse, then, GTMO is open and available for any future administration to use – in the War on Terror or otherwise. How did we get here? What should happen next?

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