Why are we running this project?

Finding a way of dealing with current and past conflicts is one of the greatest challenges (post-) conflict societies are facing. The parties involved in the conflict often stick to their respective interpretations of the past. People seldom take a more subtle viewpoint that considers their opponent’s perspective or compare the situation with other examples. In many countries, there are dedicated members of civil society as well as an increasing number of journalists, whose work focuses on dealing with history, searching for the truth, and developing cultures of remembrance. For such initiatives, however, there is usually very little opportunity to pursue international exchange.

What are our goals?

The program enables 25 representatives of civil society organizations, state institutions and journalists to gain insights into the approaches, methods, and current challenges surrounding the process of coming to terms with the past. During the two-week seminar program, participants will visit various memorial sites in Germany and meet contemporary witnesses, experts on German remembrance, politicians, journalists and representatives of civil society.

What are the program components?

The Berlin Seminar is a program designed for experts in the field and offers a wide array of different components:

  • Knowledge & Critical Analysis: You will be introduced to lessons learned from the German experience of Dealing with its Past, focusing on Nazi Germany (1933-1945), German Democratic Republic (1945 – 1990) and Colonialisms (1890-1919) lead by a renown historian.
  • Methods of Dealing with the Past: You will visit different sites of memory and meet representatives from politics, civil society and experts as well as participate in workshops with selected German institutions and individuals.
  • Transfer & Exchange Best Practice: You will transfer insights to your own context, exchange best practices with peers from other (post-) conflict societies and discuss approaches in an international group.
  • Skills & Strategies: You will strengthen your skills as change agents with professional trainers.
  • Tackle Individual Challenges: You will work on challenges you are confronted with in your own work, organization and society through professional facilitation and peer consultation.

Who is eligible to apply for the Berlin Seminar?

We are looking for candidates who meet the following criteria:

  • You are a mid-career and senior staff working for civil society organizations, government bodies and media institutions with relevant work experience in the field of truth, justice & remembrance. Practitioners, activists and experts from (post-) conflict societies directly involved in peace processes are especially encouraged to apply.
  • You have very good English skills enabling you to participate in-group discussions and to write a short reflection paper.
  • You are open to a comparative and participatory learning experience. Participants are expected to actively engage with their peers from other countries, to consult each other on challenges they face in their home contexts, and to share reflections and lessons learned within the group.

There is an annual call for submissions for applications to take part in the Berlin Seminar.

Berlin Seminar 2018