Director Kate Turner speaks at International Commission on Missing Persons Conference

From 8-10 May 2011 Kate Turner, Director of Healing Through Remembering, joined four Sites of Conscience leaders and over 100 victims group representatives for the International Commission on Missing Persons’ (ICMP) “The Missing, Memory and Sites of Conscience” conference in Sarajevo.  The conference attendees were cross-community participants from around the Former Yugoslavia.

ICMP invited the Coalition to share their members’ experiences in developing memorialisation projects, particularly initiatives launched and realized by victims and survivor groups and those developed in response to armed conflict, disappearances, and displacement.  Representatives Bonita Bennett from the District Six Museum (South Africa), Kate Turner from Healing Through Remembering, Viktor Shmyrov from the Gulag Museum (Russia), Mararita Romero from the Villa Grimaldi Peace Park (Chile), and Gonzalo Conte from Memoria Abierta (Argentina) shared their knowledge with conference participants.

During her address, Kate presented on the work of Healing Through Remembering and outlined its role as a network of individuals with diverse political, social and religious backgrounds working together on dealing with and remembering the past and the conflict in and about Northern Ireland.

Throughout the conference, working groups on the work of ICMP and last year’s Conference Report – Promoting a Holistic Approach to Memorials and Remembrance (December 2010, Sarajevo) were discussed, along with presentations of local memory initiatives happening within the region of Former Yugoslavia.

Also included during the trip was a visit to the Podrinje Identification Project in Tuzla where bodies are still being identified as a result of the conflict in Bosnia from 1992-1995.  Participants also had the opportunity to visit the Potocari Memorial Center where the events at Srebrenica are memorialised and many of the victims have been interred.