minkush kyrgyzstan

History and Memory

In efforts to create pluralism, the past and present sometimes collide. How the past is interpreted and remembered plays an important role in shaping a society’s assumptions about who belongs. Belonging can be fostered by widening history to include an honest look at each group’s experiences as members of the society. That does not mean excluding the past experiences of groups. It means talking openly about past injustices to create a more inclusive future for everyone.

Historical literacy as a route to reconciliation

In diverse societies, history can function as either a route to inclusion or as a tool of exclusion. In societies committed to pluralism, divergent memories are acknowledged and the past is examined through a critical lens. Making space in the past for previously excluded groups can foster a greater sense of belonging in the present. In societies where history has been used for political ends, truth and reconciliation commissions can play a role in restoring justice and creating a more inclusive understanding of the past. The Centre’s work in this area seeks to support societies in their efforts to build inclusive historical narratives that reflect their country’s diversity.


History and Memory in Kyrgyzstan: Toward an Inclusive Society

In 2016, the Global Centre for Pluralism launched a series of initiatives as part of its History and Memory in Kyrgyzstan project to build awareness of the role that history and memory play in promoting pluralism in Kyrgyzstan. This included a call for research papers and a forum where the papers were presented, a meeting with the President’s History Commission, and a professional development workshop for history educators. The three events, all held in December in Bishkek, marked the culmination of work to build awareness and capacity among a wide network of stakeholders, delivered with support from the Government of Canada and in collaboration with several Kyrgyzstani partners.

Kyrgyzstan December 12 2016 min

 

Eight local researchers were selected and were paired with local and international mentors who guided them through research and writing. Participants conducted research and submitted their papers to the project’s international advisory committee for peer review. On December 12, 2016 the Centre hosted the Forum, History and Memory in Kyrgyzstan: Toward an Inclusive Society at the American University of Central Asia (AUCA). The researchers had the opportunity to present their key findings at this event. The Forum featured two international panel discussions moderated by Kyrgyzstani and international experts and featuring the eight researchers. The speakers discussed the theme of building inclusive historical narratives that reflect Kyrgyzstan’s diversity.


Workshop with President’s Commission on History

On December 14, 2016, the Centre and EUROCLIO organized a 1-day professional development workshop targeted at history educators, curriculum developers, textbook authors and educational staff in museums. The objectives were to build the professional capacity of participants and generate interest for future work in this area. EUROCLIO used supplementary educational resources to demonstrate their inquiry-based teaching approach, using active methodology and working with historical sources. Participants included university professors, elementary and secondary school history teachers, members of the President’s History Commission, researchers and historians, as well as a few of the researchers from the Centre’s History and Memory project. Through this interactive workshop, participants had the opportunity to engage with unique historical sources and immerse themselves in EUROCLIO’s inquiry-based pedagogy. Participants learned about EUROCLIO’s use of alternative historical textbooks (see, for example: www.euroclio.eu/crossroad-of-cultures) and curriculum, which are currently used around the world.

Kyrgyzstan December 13 2016 min


Professional Development Workshop for History Educators

On December 14, 2016, the Centre and EUROCLIO organized a 1-day professional development workshop targeted at history educators, curriculum developers, textbook authors and educational staff in museums. The objectives were to build the professional capacity of participants and generate interest for future work in this area. EUROCLIO used supplementary educational resources to demonstrate their inquiry-based teaching approach, using active methodology and working with historical sources. Participants included university professors, elementary and secondary school history teachers, members of the President’s History Commission, researchers and historians, as well as a few of the researchers from the Centre’s History and Memory project. Through this interactive workshop, participants had the opportunity to engage with unique historical sources and immerse themselves in EUROCLIO’s inquiry-based pedagogy. Participants learned about EUROCLIO’s use of alternative historical textbooks (see, for example: www.euroclio.eu/crossroad-of-cultures) and curriculum, which are currently used around the world.

EUROCLIOWorkshop web min

“As a country, one of Canada’s greatest strengths is our respect for pluralism and diversity. At a time of growing divisions, fear of difference and threats of extremism, dialogue and respect are needed now more than ever to build open and resilient societies. The Canadian Embassy, through the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives, is a proud supporter of the History and Memory Project, and the promotion of peaceful pluralism, inclusion, and respect for diversity in Kyrgyzstan,” said Canadian Ambassador Shawn Steil.

The activities above were implemented with support from the Government of Canada’s Canada Fund for Local Initiatives.

 

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