The aims of FIHRM
In 2010 National Museums Liverpool’s International Slavery Museum coordinated the establishment of a new international museum initiative called the Federation of International Human Rights Museums (FIHRM).
FIHRM encourages museums which engage with sensitive and controversial human rights themes, such as transatlantic slavery, the Holocaust and other instances of genocide, and the plight of many indigenous peoples, to work together and share new thinking and initiatives in a supportive environment.
The ethos underpinning the FIHRM initiative is that all types of museums within these fields of work, regardless of size or resources, share similar challenges in dealing with difficult, politically-loaded, and controversial subjects.
National Museums Liverpool (NML) hopes that the world's leading museums and institutions within these fields will support the initiative, and that this will help persuade museums with fewer resources to join together in this international collaboration.
FIHRM is about sharing, working together, learning from each other, and encouraging each other; it is also about being active - looking at the ways our museums can challenge contemporary racism, discrimination and other human rights abuses. We believe that these issues are best confronted collectively rather than individually. Human rights museums must be prepared to challenge traditional museum thinking and practice, and to redefine the museum role with regard to active campaigning against human rights abuses.
How does FIHRM operate?
FIHRM was established by National Museums Liverpool (NML), which has underwritten the costs of the first three annual conferences (see below), and which hosts the FIHRM website manages the coordination of the network.
FIHRM tries to operate as informally as possible, with minimal bureaucracy and at low cost.
FIHRM is governed by a Council from a range of international institutions and you can view the list of current representatives from the following institutions here.
Membership of new representatives is currently by nomination. We anticipate that in the future membership will be by election at the annual conference.
FIHRM Annual Conference
Our key acitvity is our annual conference. FIHRM's inaugural conference was held at the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool in 2010 and since then FIHRM has organised an annual confernence in partnership with related organistations and FIHRM members.
Securing bursaries to enable museum professionals to attend these conferences, who are otherwise unable to do so due to lack of funding, is a fundamental aim of the FIHRM conference ethos and we will strive to secure bursary funding wherever possible.