Conference 2010

Inaugural conference: FIHRM 2010

Museums fighting for human rights

15 & 16 September 2010

International Slavery Museum, Liverpool, UK

Full Conference Programme

Themes of the conference

Active Communities
How can communities become active citizens through museum programmes and educational initiatives? When do museum visitors change from being passive visitors to active campaigners? Can museums be the catalyst for communities to make a difference to local, national and international campaigns?

Exhibiting Sensitive Histories
What have we learnt from developing exhibitions and permanent collections around subjects that have at times been regarded as the unrepresentable? What are the ethical and moral dimensions which museums must negotiate when focusing on these issues?

Museums as Active Campaigners
Is it the duty of museums to actively engage current issues, not only in an academic or curatorial sense but at grassroots campaigning level?  Can museums really make a difference?  Current practices and examples will be particularly relevant.

Children, Young People and Human Rights
How can museums use history to inspire children and young people to connect with their past and understand their place in society today? What are the most effective teaching styles to explore difficult and challenging histories? Are museums the best environments to promote successful learning in History and Citizenship?

Papers and presentations

Day One: Museums as active campaigners

Opening Speech – The role of human rights museums
David Fleming, Director, National Museums Liverpool, Founding FIHRM President

Museums, moralities and human rights
Richard Sandell, Director/Head of Department, School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester, UK

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights Gathering Project – Setting the stage
Judith Dueck, Director: Research Content and Scholarship, Canadian Museum for Human Rights, Winnipeg, Canada

Richard Freedman Aegis and role of first Holocaust Centre in Africa
Richard Freedman, Director, South African Holocaust Foundation, Cape Town South Africa

Restoring dignity in children – the Museums of Malawi (slides)
Restoring dignity in children – the Museums of Malawi (paper)
Michael Gondwe, Curator-Education Coordinator, Museums of Malawi, Blantyre, Malawi

The Struggle for Human Rights, the Public Awareness and the Community Programs (slides)
The Struggle for Human Rights, the Public Awareness and the Community Programs (paper)
Luisa de Pena, Director, Memorial Museum of Dominican Resistance, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

The Museum of Genocide Victims – Attiudes towards Human Rights today (slides)
The Museum of Genocide Victims – Attiudes towards Human Rights today (paper)
Vilma Juozeviciute, The Museum of Genocide Victims, Vilnius, Lithuania

From Memory to Action: How Holocaust education can change our response to genocide today
Bridget Conley-Zilkic, Director of Research and Projects, Committee of Conscience, US Holocaust Memorial Museum

White Bus Action 1945 and experiences – what have we learned?
Birthe Mueller, House of Humanity, Swedish Red Cross National Centre, Stockholm, Sweden

Waikato Museum – celebrating cultural diversity
Crystal Mann, Social History Curator, Waikato Museum, Hamilton, New Zealand

The Atlantic Slave Trade Museography (paper)
The Atlantic Slave Trade Museography (slides)
Krystel Gualde, Head of Conservation, Musée d’Histoire de Nantes, Nantes, France

The Virtual Museum of Human Rights (paper)
The Virtual Museum of Human Rights (slides)
Daan Bronkhorst & Nick Verouden, Amnesty International, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Day Two: Children Young People and Human Rights

Children Young People and Human Rights (paper)
Children Young People and Human Rights (slides)
Carol Rogers, Executive Director Education, Communities and Visitors

Make the Link, Break the Chain – Museums working with campaign agencies
George Anang’a, Plan International UK

Holocaust education in post-Apartheid South Africa – impetus for social activism or a short-lived catharsis?
Tracey Petersen, Education Director, Cape Town Holocaust Centre, Cape Town, South Africa

Social Media for Social Change – PDF on request
Corey Timpson, Manager, New Media, Canadian Museum for Human Rights, Winnipeg, Canada

When working with communities is it the ownership of perspective that is the biggest question needing an answer?
Brett Mason, Director Museums Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand

Overview of the International Slavery Museum
Dr Richard Benjamin, Head of International Slavery Museum, National Museums Liverpool

A new Museum of Independence
Camilo Sanchez, Museological Adviser, Museum of Independence, Bogota, Colombia

Designing for Hearts and Minds: The Crafting of Slavery Histories at the International African American Museum
Paul Williams, Senior Content Developer, Ralph Applebaum Associates, New York, USA

Continuing collecting efforts for the Holocaust Exhibition at the Imperial War Museum
Suzanne Bardgett, Head of Department of Holocaust and Genocide History, Imperial War Museum, London, UK

Marketplace of Ideas – Poster sessions

Poster sessions are widely used at conferences to replace concurrent sessions of oral presentations of papers. It is a visual and concise method of presenting one’s work. Posters were displayed in the conference space and available for viewing by the public throughout the conference.



Partners and Support

The FIHRM 2010 conference was generously granted UNESCO Patronage




Conference report and feedback

Here are just some of the comments that we received after the conference:

“A long overdue event – a fantastic concept with enormous potential for HR and museums globally.”

“Inspiring conference – groundbreaking”

“This is a fabulous initiative. I finally felt like I was with colleagues I wanted to speak with.”

“I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the conference. It was inspirational and made me realise why I work in the museums sector and its very real potential to change lives and make a difference. I trust the federation can grow and move forward in the coming years and would like to pledge my support in any way I can to help make that happen.”

“I would like to thank you for organizing the wonderful congress. I found it very creative happening, learned a great deal, and met many people. The organization was also perfect. My compliments”.

“I wanted to thank and congratulate you and your team, for a wonderful conference. I left inspired. Thank you.”

To summarise: #fihrm inspiring, re-energising, galvanising, worthwhile. So well-organised and approachable, enthusiastic delegates.

A very inspiring day at inaugural #fihrm conference. Important & innovative work from around the world

La reconnaissance de la diversité est une demande démocratique, pas une question de repentance mais de représentation et d’éducation #FIHRM

#FIHRM passionate belief in humanity and that if you ask people to do something to help change society, they will do it.