Reflections from the 2016 Mandela Dialogues (Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory)

In 2016 the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the Global Leadership Academy of the Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) convened two six-day dialogues with “memory workers” from nine countries. This was the second series of international Mandela Dialogues, the first having taken place in 2013-2014. Informing the first series had been a discomfort with what was seen as a growing orthodoxy around “transitional justice”. The discomfort gave rise to a range of questions aimed at generating new thinking about how to do memory work that is liberatory. The second series built on the first, being framed by a focus on two of the “how” questions which had loomed large in 2013-2014: how do we create spaces safe enough for former enemies to enter and listen to one another’s stories, and how is inter-generational memory work best enabled?
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