The role of Transitional Justice Archives in supporting Justice, Reconciliation and Memory, International experiences and the Colombian case

ICHR TJ Conference

The Irish Centre for Human Rights hosted in May 2022 a one-day international conference with the aim to bring together scholars and practitioners from different countries and background to explore what role “Transitional Justice Archives” (Ferrara 2021) play in post-conflict and post-authoritarian societies. Transitional Justice Archives, including records of truth commissions, courts and memory sites amass huge volume of information and comprise the statements of thousands of victims, witnesses and perpetrators, which could have long-standing impact on their respective societies. 

The first part of the seminar hosted international experts that discussed about the role and importance of Truth Commissions and other TJ archives in the development of subsequent social, educational, legal and political initiatives in their countries. The speakers discuss examples from different countries spanning from Northern Ireland to Latin America.

The second part of the seminar hosted academics and professionals of the on-going Integrated System of Transitional justice in Colombia. The speakers share their current experience in building the archives of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace and of the Colombian Truth Commission. They also highlight current issues related to access and preservation of records documenting human rights violations. Discussions are under way in relation to the future preservation, management and access to these records. The experience from international cases will hopefully offer important lessons for the future uses of the archives and records of the Integrated Transitional Justice System in Colombia.

Organizer: Dr Anita Ferrara
Assistant: PhD – Irish Research Council Scholar, Beatrice Canossi

Conference Opening, Conflict Textiles

Speakers: Roberta Bacic (Curator of the Conflict Textiles Collection, Chile); Prof. Gillian Robinson (Ulster University, UK); Breege Doherty (Conflict Textiles Archivist, UK)

Conflict Textiles is home to a large collection of international textiles, exhibitions and associated events, all of which focus on elements of conflict and human rights abuses. Conflict Textiles is an ‘Associated Site’ of CAIN (Conflict Archive on the INternet) at Ulster University, Northern Ireland.

First Panel: International Experiences

Dr Trudy Peterson (Archivist, US); Prof. Emilio Crenzel (University of Buenos Aires, Argentina); Maria Luisa Ortiz (Museum of Memory, Chile); Prof. Ruth Elena Borja Santa Cruz (National University of San Marcos, Peru).

Second Panel: The Colombian Case

Prof. Flor Alba Romero Medina (National University of Colombia; Oscar Parra Vera (Special Jurisdiction for Peace, JEP, Colombia); Folco Zaffalon (Truth Commission, Colombia).