Conference 2017

Museums, Democracy and Human Rights: Challenges and dilemmas in storytelling

FIHRM 2017: Museums, Democracy and Human Rights

Challenges and dilemmas in storytelling

Call for papers

Deadline 28 April 2017

NOTA: Ver la convocatoria para presentaciones en español a continuación

Museums dealing with human rights are increasingly prominent around the world. These museums often deal with difficult, and sometimes recent, histories and address challenging subjects such as oppression, abuse, conflict, discrimination, or censorship.

How do these museums capture the interest of the public? What can they do to ensure the younger generations understand the extent of what has happened, and the consequences in today’s society? Despite some lessons learnt from the past, there are still many people and communities whose rights are being violated every day. Wars, dictatorships, exiles, exterminations, slavery, discrimination, exclusion are some of the issues that occupy a central place in the narratives of human rights museums.The aim is not only to talk of the past and its legacy, but also the political and social circumstances that have brought about the very creation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

During this year’s conference, we will consider the following themes:

  • Art and telling stories
  • Public audiences: building commitment
  • Narratives to tell the story of conflict
  • The challenge of building legacies
  • Museums in dialogue with the social and political contemporary scene
  • Linking past and present

We will think about:

  • How do museums challenge traditional thinking and tell difficult and contested stories?
  • How can museums encourage dialogue with different communities?
  • What language and narratives should they use to raise awareness and actively promote Human Rights?

We would like to invite you to submit a proposal to speak at the session. We wish to look at recent and current examples of progressive work in museums or related organizations.

You can submit proposals for case studies, research papers, under any of the above themes. Proposals should be no more than 300 words. Please also submit a short biography of about 150-200 words.

Presentation length will be 15 minutes as part of a themed session.

Deadline: 28 April 2017

Please send your proposal by email to Françoise McClafferty, FIHRM Coordinator,

ENGLISH Call for Papers (PDF)

ESPAÑOL Convocatoria para presentaciones (PDF)



About the conference host

FIHRM is delighted to hold its first conference in South America at the Museum for International Democracy in Rosario, Argentina.

We would like to thank Guillermo Whpei, FIHRM Council Member and President of the Fundaciòn para la Democracia Internacional, for hosting FIHRM 2017.
The Museum for International Democracy, led by the Fundaciòn, will open during 2017. The museum will be a place to reflect on what Democracy means. The intention is to encourage visitors to work towards a better quality of life, promoting free speech, debate, mutual respect and analyzing democratic values. It will be the first museum of its kind in Argentina.

Susana Meden, Project Director, spoke about the museum at the FIHRM 2016 Conference. Read Susana Meden's paper.

© Federation of International Human Rights Museums (FIHRM)