Posts Tagged documentation

Documenting Existing Casualty Recording Practice Worldwide

There are numerous casualty recording initiatives around the world, some operating in the midst of ongoing conflicts, and others in a post-conflict environment. Each initiative has amassed some level of experience and relevant expertise in dealing with the problems and obstacles that this type of work, and its practitioners, face. UK think tank, the Oxford Research Group has a research project which draws on the experience of casualty recording organisations around the world to identify and promote good practice, and analyse key issues for practitioners and policymakers wishing to support this work.

Lacking in this field are any agreed-upon good practices or standards by which different projects, methods and outputs may be compared and evaluated. This project is intended to address these issues by publishing a series of papers analysing key issues in casualty recording, and identifying good practice.

The Oxford Research Group is also involved in another project that aims to standardize casualty recording and make it a legal requirement.

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IRIBA Center for Multimedia Heritage in Rwanda

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Filmmaker, Anne Aghion attempts to spearhead an initiative to make freely accessible the audio-visual history of Rwanda’s recent past for all Rwandans through the launch of a heritage center, the IRIBA Center.  Aghion has long since been creating documentaries covering the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide. Her last film, My Neighbour My Killer, was intended to foster discussions on co-existence within Rwanda.  In keeping with the theme of sharing the common history that belongs to Rwandans, Aghion along with her Kigali partner, Assumpta Mugiraneza, a social psychologist, are appealing to the public to support and join them to establish IRIBA Center.

The center intends on collecting documentation footage that will represent Rwanda’s historical legacy.  As a media archive of remembrance, IRIBA takes its inspiration from, and plans to model itself after the Bophana Center in Cambodia, started by another filmmaker, Rithy Panh.  Bophana’s belief has been that there is a link between memory and lack of democracy. As such, they have made it their mission to collect, preserve, and make available audio-visual material on the Cambodian genocide.  To spread word on the IRIBA Center, Aghion has enlisted Kickstarter in hopes of raising funds.  Many international donors have already supported the center.

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32nd Meeting of European Coordination Committee on Human Rights Documentation to be hosted by Open Society Archives

The Secretariat for the European Coordination Committee on Human Rights Documentation (ECCHRD), in collaboration with the Open Society Archives (OSA) and HURIDOCS, announced its invitation to the 32nd meeting of the ECCHRD.

The ECCHRD is the European network within the HURIDOCS global network of documentalists and librarians of human rights organizations.  The aim of this network is to improve access and dissemination of public information on human rights through more effective, appropriate and compatible methods and techniques of information handling.

The meeting brings together persons working on documentation, information, and communication within human rights organizations and institutions and is used to discuss human rights documentation issues such as developing standards in human rights documentation and the usage of new information technologies in the human rights documentation context. The meeting aims to build and strengthen the cooperation among European human rights documentation institutions.

This year, the OSA will be hosting the meeting in Budapest, Hungary on May 30-31.  A major topic this year is open source library management systems.  See the list of systems compiled by Daniel D’Esposito of HURIDOCS here.

Read meeting invitation

Read meeting agenda

Meeting registration here

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Preserving Government Files Documenting Abuses in Tunisia

In Tunisia, undergoing a transformation from dictatorship to possible democracy, some make an effort to collect and preserve regime archives, very few of which have been made public.  Some are making an effort to collect and preserve these documents, very few of which have been damaged or ever made public.  The material would almost surely document the abuses of the previous regime, yet the question remains whether they should be made public, used for prosecutions or left untouched for a generation to avoid opening too many wounds.

“This is becoming more and more of an issue,” said Hanny Megally, vice president of the International Center for Transitional Justice, a human rights organization that has assisted nations in Africa, the Middle East and Asia with trials of former leaders charged with crimes against humanity, including the tribunal trying members of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia.

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Granito Premier at Sundance

Granito, a documentary on the Guatemalan atrocities of the 1980s premiered last week at the Sundance Film Festival I met the director, Pamela Yates, after a screening of her last film, The Reckoning, in New York for the 2009 Human Rights Watch Film Festival.  At the time, we spoke about the role of archival footage in bringing justice to oppressed groups and individuals.  Yates was traveling between the U.S. and Latin America at that time filming Granito.  Yates’ documentary footage from a related 1982 film, When the Mountains Tremble, was currently being used to develop a human rights case for victims of the political and civil conflicts in 1980s Guatemala.  Because outtakes from this earlier documentary being used to develop cases against the Guatemalan state, Yates was given the unique opportunity to follow and document on film the subsequent unearthing of government archives which were used also used as evidence in the trials.

Watch Skylight Pictures video

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Tactical Dialogue on Research for Participatory Action

I discovered a new website care of HURIDOCS this morning called New Tactics in Human Rights.  Each month New Tactics conducts online tactical dialogues in which the public is invited to participate in discussions regarding resources and tools for human rights activists networks and organizations.  New Tactics urges those interested to join in on their upcoming online dialogue, Participatory Research for Action to be held on November 17 to 23.

Here is some more from their website:

Participatory research can create credible and critical documentation at the grassroots level.  Not only can the information be utilized in advocacy and lobbying efforts, the research process itself can serve to create a network of activists, informing organizations working on issues that impact study participants, and directly benefiting the people themselves.

Participatory research is about “connecting victims of human rights violations to the information they need to become active defenders of their right and to develop creative solutions to human rights challenges.” (Chubashini Suntharalingam, Research for Action)

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Documenting Truth – an ICTJ publication

Documenting Truth gives practicing information specialists practical insight into monitoring and documenting violations.  Here is some of what HURIDOCS has said about this publication:

This report draws on the experience of six diverse NGOs that came together as the Documentation Affinity Group (DAG). The purpose of this publication is to share some of the lessons which they learned from their collaboration. The goal is to provide useful information and ideas for organizations that are facing similar challenges. In short, these are reflections on best practices for documentation projects to combat impunity, establish truth and build democratic and just societies.

The document describes cross-cutting themes in documentation work as well as practices in collecting, using, analysing, managing and storing documents.

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