Culture and its Uses as Testimony

Lead Research Organisation: University of Birmingham
Department Name: Languages Cultures Art History & Music

Abstract

This network examines the role of culture in societies that are seeking to come to terms with traumatic pasts. In such societies culture is one medium through which individuals and groups present their experiences to a broad public as a form of testimony. We understand cultural forms of testimony to include autobiographical accounts, novels, diaries, letters, memoirs, films, theatre, works of art, and documentaries. The network explores how cultural testimony can enrich public debate about past and present injustice, but it also explores how it is instrumentalised for narrow political purposes.

The network is innovative because it brings together researchers from the fields of history, political science and international relations, law, sociology, and those working on culture, literature, film and museums in a variety of national and transnational contexts. Researchers also work alongside practitioners who are core members of the network. These include a novelist, documentary theatre company, representatives from the National Holocaust Centre and the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, members of expert commissions, and teachers.

We are primarily concerned with cultural testimony and the ways in which it is received and put to use. Of particular interest is the role that it can play in overcoming divisions in societies marked by war, genocide and authoritarian rule. The writing and recording of testimony in a range of forms play an increasingly significant role in civil society initiatives that seek to establish the norms for justice that are not restricted to legal procedures. This is seen most markedly in efforts to conserve and transmit memory of the Holocaust for and to future generations, for example the extensive use of eyewitness testimony at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. These approaches to remembering the victims of National Socialism and fascism are drawn upon in cultural responses to authoritarianism across the globe. The network members and their case studies come from diverse cultural contexts in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Romania, Albania, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Cuba, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Argentina, South Africa and Rwanda. The network thus provides opportunities for scholars with different understandings of testimony to collaborate and to produce new insights into how culture functions as testimony as societies attempt to come to terms with their past. As the production of testimony in cultural forms is a global phenomenon, international collaboration is a core part of the network. This is also reflected in the constitution of the network's steering group.

The network establishes why victims, perpetrators and memory activists turn to first person forms of expression as they strive for justice and reconciliation. Used thoughtfully, the testimony of culturally complex sources can open up new directions for research that cut across generalisations about the past and simplistic divisions of the population into perpetrators and victims. Used in a fragmentary, unreflective or tendentious manner, this same testimony can be hijacked to support pre-existing political positions. In the 'age of the eyewitness' (Wieviorka, 2006) the network identifies the particular characteristics of culture as testimony, and it discusses how we can analyse and benefit from these sources.

The network's three workshops on the range and function of testimony in cultural forms, methodological approaches to the use of cultural forms of testimony in understanding the past, and the politics of culture as testimony are followed by a high-profile international conference. The research is further disseminated via a network website and linked social media, two half-day schools' workshops, teaching materials, and publications including an interdisciplinary handbook on Culture and its Uses as Testimony.

Planned Impact

Culture as a way of giving testimony has relevance for academics and non-academic practitioners from diverse areas. The research provides producers of culture, teachers, civil society activists and those involved in the political processes of transitional justice with new methods and insights that will be of direct relevance to their practice. The collaborative research process ensures that practitioners have a role in defining and answering research questions and provides new perspectives on scholarly work in this area. The network outputs, in particular the handbook, website and teaching resources, are addressed to both academic and non-academic communities.

As described in the Pathways document, academics, practitioners, stakeholder organisations and groups are full members of the network and are directly incorporated into the research process through involvement in the workshops and conference. Practitioners from three different areas are represented, reflecting the thematic focus of the three workshops. These are: producers of culture; teachers and civil society initiatives participating in history and civic education; and individuals involved in political processes of transitional justice. One important partner is the National Holocaust Centre (NHC), which has expressed a research interest in different mediations of testimony. Three network participants are members of the NHC's academic advisory board (Niven, Mills and Wollaston) and the Centre is also host to the second workshop. The participation of non-academic practitioners in the workshops, conference and network publications ensures that their experience of using cultural forms of testimony feeds directly into the research outputs, as well as into the current and future research of the academic members. In turn, non-academic practitioners have the opportunity to discuss and reflect on their practice and gain theoretical insights developed in a scholarly context. Participation in the network also aids their understanding of the related fields with which they interact. The involvement of key representatives from these different areas ensures wider distribution of the research impacts, as they bring the outputs to the communities and existing networks of which they are part.

These new connections have a long-term impact on future practice; for example, one output of the network is recommendations and resources for practitioners that deal with questions of authenticity, value and complexity in the use of cultural forms of testimony in school curricula and in the formulation of political responses to dealing with past atrocities. The global turn towards discourses of reconciliation and symbolic justice means that the questions addressed by the network are urgent and resonate across a broad range of practitioners involved in efforts towards democratic transition, as well as with those groups who seek to contribute to these processes through testifying to past injustice.

The network initiates a dialogue between scholars, practitioners and producers of culture, which shapes future academic and non-academic engagement in this field. In this context, the network brings together scholars from diverse disciplines, many of whom have strong links with practitioners and local communities in their research. Participation in the network and knowledge exchange with academics and non-academics from different fields promotes the development of new approaches in their relationships with these communities. This ensures that the dialogues created in the course of the network's activities have an ongoing impact in the course of a series of follow-on projects conducted by network members. These include work with: memorial museums in Germany and Romania (Jones); the National Holocaust Centre (Niven, Mills and Wollaston); the Nottingham New Art Exchange and the Cuban artist Alberto Rey (Lewthwaite); Child Soldiers International and the Centre for Digital Storytelling (Gready).

Publications

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Jones S (2019) Testimony through culture: towards a theoretical framework in Rethinking History

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Woods R (2021) Testimony and its Mediations in Life Writing in Life Writing

 
Description The cross-disciplinary and cross-sector discussions were especially fruitful in generating findings relating to the ethics and methods of using testimony in different cultural forms. These can be summarised as follows:

• All testimony is mediated through culture in some way and it is essential to pay attention to that mediation if we are to fully understand the potential of testimony to transmit historical knowledge to subsequent generations. In this context, practitioners need to find the balance between recognising the constructed nature of all accounts of the past and the importance of a commitment to historical accuracy.
• Allowing witnesses of mass or state violence to speak and be heard means acknowledging them as worthy of "trust" in the sense of recognising that they have an (albeit partial) truth to communicate to an audience that is ready to hear and learn from it. This can function as a form of social recognition for marginalised groups. Mediating testimony in different forms is essential to this process as it allows for dissemination of testimony across space and time
• The production of empathy needs to be considered carefully. Empathy that takes an "other-oriented" perspective, that is, which allows the audience to experience the emotions of the speaker, as the speaker, can be very productive in promoting understanding of different moral choices and responses. In contrast, "self-oriented" empathy, in which the audience experiences the emotions of the speaker as their own, can be overwhelming and shut down a critical response (see Coplan 2011).
• Perpetrator testimony must be approached critically; nonetheless, the perpetrator perspective should not be excluded completely if audiences are to engage fully with the causes of genocide. Perpetrators need to be recognised as fully-fledged agents able to make and give an account of their decisions.
• Secondary witnessing - understood here as giving an account of knowledge acquired through listening to others, study and learning - is something that is recognised as valid in the everyday. It is also a method used by many artists in their representation of histories that they have not experienced, including the Holocaust. Nonetheless, practitioners should be wary of false equivalences between the face-to-face testimony of survivors and the testimony of secondary witnesses.
• A broadening of our understanding of what testimony is can help us better appreciate how it can be put to use. For the purposes of this project, testimony is understood as an account (in any form) by an individual with personal experience of past atrocity about those experiences. This testimony might be presented as a fiction (e.g., a novel or feature film), but it should nonetheless be a "truthful" account in the sense of being representative of the experiences, thoughts and feelings of the individual. Secondary witnesses can also produce works that can be considered testimony by reusing (or "remediating") the testimony of primary witnesses with the same requirement for that representation to be "truthful". In this regard, historical accuracy is not the primary feature of testimony, but that does not mean that we abandon any commitment to truth, the result of which may be gross distortion of the historical record.
Exploitation Route These findings are already proving of interest and importance to educational practitioners (especially in the field of Holocaust Education) and artists working in the creative economies. PI Jones has worked closely with practitioners in these fields to develop material outcomes (educational resources, theatre production, art installation, testimonies campaign), also through the follow-on project, 'Testimony in Practice'. The research network has allowed the team to develop an initial framework for the study and use of testimony mediated through culture which can be applied in multiple academic and non-academic contexts. The benefits of this cross-disciplinary and cross-sector exchange will be further showcased in the handbook *Testimony and Culture*, proposed for publication in 2021.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Creative Economy,Education,Government, Democracy and Justice,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections

URL https://cultureastestimony.wordpress.com/blog/
 
Description The impact of the research can be summarised under three key headings: third sector, education and culture. The influence on the work of third sector organisations has principally been achieved through collaboration with the National Holocaust Centre and Museum (NHC), Holocaust Educational Trust (HET) and Holocaust Memorial Day Trust (HMDT). In particular, the co-organisation of the second network workshop in March 2017 with the NHC provided multiple opportunities for engagement and resulted in the decision to co-operate further on the co-development of educational resources. Representatives from these organisations have already indicated that participation in the network has influenced their opinions and will feed into their practice. Under the heading 'education', the school teachers present at workshop 2 and in the development workshops for the proposed educational resources have reported a change in opinion, which will feed into their practice. Cultural impact has been achieved by the inclusion of the practitioners Carmen-Francesca Banciu, Eugenio Szwarcer and Carles Fernandez Giua in the network events. Both the novelist (Banciu) and documentary theatre company (Szwarcer and Fernandez Giua) have reported that their participation has resulted in a changed approach to their practice and new ideas and opportunities. Key evidence of this transformation is the collaboration on the innovative documentary theatre production based on Banciu's autobiographical narratives and drawing on the concepts around culture and testimony discussed in the workshops (A Land Full of Heroes). PI Jones worked with the artists on this production in co-operation with Dr Emilie Pine (University College Dublin) and with the support of AHRC follow-on funding (title: Testimony in Practice).
First Year Of Impact 2017
Sector Creative Economy,Education,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
Impact Types Cultural,Societal

 
Description AHRC Follow-On Funding for Impact and Engagement
Amount £80,522 (GBP)
Funding ID AH/S005560/1 
Organisation Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2019 
End 02/2020
 
Description Collaboration with Holocaust Education providers 
Organisation HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL DAY TRUST
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution The Holocaust Educational Trust (HET) and Holocaust Memorial Day Trust (HMDT) were represented at the second and third project workshops and conference and thereby had the opportunity to learn from a variety of academic and and non-academic perspectives on the use of mediated forms of testimony in Holocaust Education - something that is an emerging priority for these organisations. The decision was made to collaborate further (also with the NHC) on the production of educational resources for the use of testimony in Holocaust Education. PI Jones led on the resource development and the final outcome - 'Using Testimony in the Classroom' - was launched in January 2020.
Collaborator Contribution Both the HET and the HMDT have provided staff time and resources for attendance at the workshops and conference and the development of the educational resources. This has included participation in three education workshops in June, August and November 2018, and the launch event on 26 February 2020. Their input was essential in terms of knowledge and practical experience of using testimony for educational purposes.
Impact Resource pack 'Using Testimony in the Classroom': www.birmingham.ac.uk/cultureastestimony . Education workshops in June, August and November 2018. Launch event 26 February 2020.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Collaboration with Holocaust Education providers 
Organisation Holocaust Education Trust
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution The Holocaust Educational Trust (HET) and Holocaust Memorial Day Trust (HMDT) were represented at the second and third project workshops and conference and thereby had the opportunity to learn from a variety of academic and and non-academic perspectives on the use of mediated forms of testimony in Holocaust Education - something that is an emerging priority for these organisations. The decision was made to collaborate further (also with the NHC) on the production of educational resources for the use of testimony in Holocaust Education. PI Jones led on the resource development and the final outcome - 'Using Testimony in the Classroom' - was launched in January 2020.
Collaborator Contribution Both the HET and the HMDT have provided staff time and resources for attendance at the workshops and conference and the development of the educational resources. This has included participation in three education workshops in June, August and November 2018, and the launch event on 26 February 2020. Their input was essential in terms of knowledge and practical experience of using testimony for educational purposes.
Impact Resource pack 'Using Testimony in the Classroom': www.birmingham.ac.uk/cultureastestimony . Education workshops in June, August and November 2018. Launch event 26 February 2020.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Collaboration with La Conquesta del Pol Sud 
Organisation La Conquesta del Pol Sud
Sector Private 
PI Contribution The documentary theatre company, La Conquesta del Pol Sud, were involved in the research network, 'Culture and its Uses as Testimony' from the start of the project and attended workshops and the conference. They therefore had the opportunity to benefit from the discussions around the ethics and methods of using cultural forms of testimony that are extremely relevant to their practice. The company were official project partners in the follow-on project 'Testimony in Practice'. Close collaboration with PI Jones in this project, resulted in the production of a documentary theatre performance - A Land Full of Heroes - staging the life and literature of Carmen-Francesca Banciu, a Romanian and German novelist who is also an active network member. The collaboration was recorded in the "Making Of" film, also available on the project website.
Collaborator Contribution La Conquesta del Pol Sud were active participants in the network events and contributed a unique perspective on the use of testimony in cultural forms developed through their practice. This will feed directly into research outputs. The company led on the collaboration with PI Jones to produce the documentary theatre performance, A Land Full of Heroes, including considerable in-kind contributions in the form of staff time. They contributed to the "Making Of" film, the theatre practitioner and youth artist workshops and will contribute to the Testimony in Practice Guide (forthcoming). The collaboration has provided PI Jones with important insights into working with life stories in artistic production.
Impact Further Funding: AHRC Follow-On Funding for Impact and Engagement (Testimony in Practice); Documentary theatre production: A Land Full of Heroes; The Making Of A Land Full of Heroes (film).
Start Year 2016
 
Description Collaboration with National Holocaust Centre and Museum 
Organisation National Holocaust Centre and Museum
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution The collaboration with the National Holocaust Centre and Museum (NHC) is on-going throughout the project; however, it crystallised around the second network workshop on the 8 March 2017. This event was co-organised by the research team with representatives of the NHC and hosted at the Centre. The research team contributed intellectual input in terms of structuring the event, as well as practical support through the organisation of accommodation, travel and hospitality for participants. One outcome of the network was the decision to collaborate on the production of a series of educational resources focused on the use of mediated testimony in Holocaust Education. The PI worked on this with the NHC and further Holocaust Education providers, contributing in particular the theoretical framework for the ethical and methodologically-sound use of cultural forms of testimony. The collaboration entailed three education workshops to refine the resource outlines and a launch event in February 2020. The resources - 'Using Testimony in the Classroom' - were launched digitally on 27 January 2020.
Collaborator Contribution The National Holocaust Centre hosted the second network workshop, providing in-kind support in the form of staff time and a venue, as well as logistical support in the organisation of catering. Representatives of the NHC (especially Director of Learning, James Griffiths) played a leading role in designing the structure of the workshop in collaboration with the investigators and other theme leads. The location of the workshop at the NHC meant that workshop participants were able to access the NHC's educational exhibition (for which they provided a specially-tailored guided tour) and were given a first look at the NHC's on-going project to create interactive digital testimonies. Discussion of the latter in particular promoted exchange of academic and non-academic perspectives on testimony, mediation and education, which will be essential to the final outcomes of the research. The co-organisation by the NHC also allowed us to attract participants from a wider range of other non-academic stakeholders: representatives from the Holocaust Educational Trust, Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, as well as local school teachers were present. Collaboration with these other partners has continued throughout the project and was key to the research outputs, especially the education resources. The briefing paper emerging from the workshop was co-authored by the PI and theme leads, including Mr Griffiths. In terms of the education resources, the research team worked closely with Louise Stafford at the NHC on the development of these materials. The NHC also played host to the first of three education workshops in June 2018 and a representative of the Centre spoke at the launch event on 26 February 2020.
Impact Education resource pack 'Using Testimony in the Classroom'. Workshop 2: Methodological approaches to the use of cultural forms of testimony in understanding the past Education workshops in June, August and November 2018. Launch event on 26 February 2020.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Conference: Culture and its Uses as Testimony 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The final conference for the research network took place on the 11-12 April 2018 and brought together academics and practitioners from across disciplines (history, political science, sociology, education, literature, film, theatre, museum studies) and sectors to discuss the ethics, theory and methods of using testimony in different media and cultural practices. The conference comprised 26 academic papers and two presentations by theatre practitioners who make use of testimony in their work. The key outcomes of the conference will be a handbook on Culture as Testimony (proposed for 2021); the continued collaboration between the research team and Holocaust Education providers (HET, HMD, NHC) on the production of educational resources; and co-operation with the documentary theatre company La Conquesta del pol sud and Romanian and German novelist Carmen-Francesca Banciu on a collaborative theatre project. The latter formed the core of a successful follow-on funding application submitted following the conference in July 2018.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://cultureastestimony.wordpress.com/2018/07/25/briefing-paper-network-conference-culture-and-it...
 
Description Education Workshops 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact As part of the collaboration with Holocaust Education providers - the National Holocaust Centre and Museum (NHC), Holocaust Educational Trust (HET), Holocaust Memorial Day Trust (HMDT) - three workshops were organised to develop, discuss and refine resources for using mediated testimony in Holocaust Education. The first workshop in June 2018 took place at the NHC and brought together the research team, professional practitioners and approximately 20 local school teachers of History. The workshop aimed to present the research findings to the teachers and gain their input on the challenges they face in delivering Holocaust Education. The second workshop in August 2018 (at the University of Birmingham) brought together key team members with representatives of the NHC, HET and HMDT in order to develop a draft outline for the educational resources. The outline was then presented to and discussed with approximately 40 school teachers at the third workshop held at the University of Nottingham in November 2018.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://cultureastestimony.wordpress.com/blog/
 
Description Film Showing: Son of Saul 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This activity comprised a film screening of László Nemes's 2015 Oscar and BAFTA winning film Son of Saul, followed by discussion with network members Gary Mills (University of Nottingham) and Éva Kovács (Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies). The screening preceded the second network workshop and was targeted at academics, postgraduates, school teachers and the general public. The event was structured in such a way as to give participants the opportunity to exchange ideas, especially on the use of films for educational purposes, as well as the impact of film on Holocaust remembrance. There were approximately 20 attendees, many of whom reported being deeply affected by the film.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://cultureastestimony.wordpress.com/2017/03/07/film-screening-and-discussion-laszlo-nemes-son-o...
 
Description Launch Event: Testimony in Practice: Education, Art and Performance 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This event combined the outcomes of two AHRC-funded projects: the network 'Culture and its Uses as Testimony' and its follow-on project 'Testimony in Practice'. In the first half, the Romanian and German novelist Carmen-Francesca Banciu read from her works of literary testimony, described her involvement with Testimony in Practice, and presented her work in progress. In the second half, a panel of experts - comprising survivors, teachers and representatives of national Holocaust education providers - discussed the future of Holocaust education and the place of testimony within it. This included consideration of the resources produced as one outcome of 'Culture and its Uses as Testimony' (Using Testimony in the Classroom).
The event was attended by approximately 40 members of the public drawn from diverse fields of activity (academic, third sector, education). The reading and panel discussion sparked lively discussion around questions of forgiveness, reconciliation and the role of the second generation.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Readings with Carmen-Francesca Banciu 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact In collaboration with the Institute for German Studies' research network '(Not) Made in Germany: Imagining Germany from the Outside', funded by the German Academic Exchange Service, three readings by AHRC network member Carmen-Francesca Banciu were organised in Birmingham, Bristol and Lancaster. The readings in Bristol and Lancaster were combined with translation workshops with undergraduate and postgraduate students who reported finding working closely with the author to be very rewarding. We propose to organise further readings from Ms Banciu's works as part of the on-going network activities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://cultureastestimony.wordpress.com/2016/10/20/readings-by-carmen-francesca-banciu/
 
Description Workshop 1: The Range and Function of Testimony in Cultural Forms 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact The first network workshop was hosted at the University of Birmingham in November 2016 under the heading: The Range and Function of Testimony in Cultural Forms. The purpose of the event was to promote interdisciplinary and cross-sector dialogue around three key questions:

Why do individuals turn to culture in order to tell their stories?
What can the writing of testimonial literature, the making of a documentary film, or bringing historical witnesses on stage do that other forms of bearing witness cannot?
How does this testimony relate to concepts of reconciliation and justice at an individual and societal level?

Alongside academics from diverse disciplines (literature, film and museum studies, history, political science, education, psychology and law), participants included representatives of the National Holocaust Centre and Museum (NHC), the Romanian novelist Carmen-Francesca Banciu, and Eugenio Szwarcer of the documentary theatre company La Conquesta del pol sud. The first part of the workshop comprised five position papers given by academics and practitioners (Banciu and Szwarcer) in response to the core questions. This was followed by structured discussion around these questions and a lively exchange of perspectives between academics from different disciplines and practitioners working in diverse fields. Both representatives from the NHC and Banciu have since reported that the discussions at the workshop have sparked new ideas for their own practice. Moreover, Banciu and Szwarcer are in discussions with the PI around the possibility of producing a collaborative documentary theatre production based on Banciu's autobiographical narratives and drawing on the concepts surrounding culture and testimony discussed in the network. Following the workshop, the theme leads produced a briefing paper outlining the core findings, which can be found at the URL given below.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://cultureastestimony.wordpress.com/2016/12/14/report-on-workshop-1-the-range-and-function-of-t...
 
Description Workshop 2: Methodological approaches to the use of cultural forms of testimony in understanding the past 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact The second network workshop was hosted at, and in collaboration with, the National Holocaust Centre and Museum (NHC) in March 2017. Representatives from the NHC played a key role in designing the structure of the workshop, which was also tailored to questions that are key to their practice. The principal purpose of the workshop was to exchange perspectives between academics from different disciplines and practitioners working in diverse fields around four core questions:

How can and do museums and educators approach both biographical and literary/fictional forms of testimony in understanding the past?
How can cultural forms of testimony, especially in the museum, function as a method of providing victims with symbolic justice or reparation?
How can one do justice to the complexity and ambiguity of cultural sources while using them as testimony?
What are the opportunities and challenges for educators, museums and other producers of culture in both using and creating testimony?

Alongside academics from diverse disciplines (literature, film and museum studies, history, education, psychology, sociology and law), participants included representatives of the National Holocaust Centre and Museum (NHC), the Holocaust Education Trust, the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Romanian novelist Carmen-Francesca Banciu and primary and secondary school teachers. The first part of the workshop comprised six position papers given by academics and practitioners (James Griffiths of the NHC and school teachers) in response to the core questions. Participants were then given the opportunity to view the main educational exhibition of the NHC and an introduction to the Centre's current project to create interactive digital testimonies. This was followed by structured discussion around the above questions and a lively exchange of perspectives between academics from different disciplines and practitioners working in diverse fields. Representatives from the NHC, school teachers and Banciu have since reported that the discussions at the workshop have sparked new ideas for their own practice and resulted in a change of opinion. In particular teachers and educational specialists indicated the need for the production of high-quality resources for use in schools, which would help teachers to make appropriate use of testimony in their teaching of the Holocaust. This is an outcome that will be further pursued in the course of the network activities, especially at the teachers' workshops proposed for spring 2018. Following the workshop, the theme leads (academics and practitioners) produced a briefing paper outlining the core findings, which can be found at the URL below.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://cultureastestimony.wordpress.com/2017/04/05/report-on-workshop-2-methodological-approaches-t...
 
Description Workshop 3: The Politics of Culture as Testimony 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact The third network workshop was hosted at the University of Nottingham in May 2017. The purpose of the event was to promote interdisciplinary and cross-sector dialogue around three key questions: How are cultural forms of testimony used and misused for political goals in the present? How is culture as testimony incorporated into processes of transitional justice carried out at a political level? What status does cultural testimony have before the Law and what is its potential to feature in and enrich legal proceedings? The workshop also provided an opportunity for researchers and practitioners to debate keys terms relating to the network and in the context of the methodologies/approaches network members use in their research/practice. Participants included researchers from diverse disciplines (history, law, education, literature, film, theatre and museum studies, sociology) alongside practitioners from the National Holocaust Centre and Museum, the Holocaust Education Trust, the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, the documentary theatre company La Conquesta del pol sud, and the workshop education programme Epilogues. The first part of the workshop comprised position papers given by academic theme leads. This was followed by a presentation and discussion of the Epilogues programme with a particular emphasis on the use of perpetrator testimony. Finally, participants were divided into interdisciplinary and cross-sector clusters to debate the research questions, followed by a concluding open-group discussion. The feedback from the event was excellent. Representatives from the National Holocaust Centre and Museum have reported that the workshop has encouraged a rethinking of the ways in which they use testimony in their own work. The workshop has also resulted in an ongoing collaboration between La Conquesta del pol sud and Dr Emilie Pine (University College Dublin), who will also be working with PI Jones on a follow-on project involving the theatre company (see impact narrative). Following the workshop, the theme leads produced a briefing paper outlining the core findings, which can be found at the URL given below.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://cultureastestimony.wordpress.com/2017/05/31/report-on-workshop-3-the-politics-of-culture-as-...