Whose Memory, Whose Justice? Memory Studies & Transitional Justice
The Utrecht Forum for Memory Studies will organise a seminar with Nicole Immler entitled 'Whose Memory, Whose Justice? Memory Studies & Transitional Justice' on 26 February. Immler will discuss the photo exhibition 'The Widows' (National Military Museum Soest) and address more general assumptions in the Memory and Transitional Justice field.
The widows from Rawagede
The Netherlands is haunted by its colonial past. The ‘widows from Rawagede’ have become the epitome of the colonial disaster. Their husbands were executed by Dutch military during the decolonisation war in Indonesia (1947). In a landmark decision at the Civil Court in The Hague they won against the Dutch state and received an apology and compensation.
Whose memory, whose justice?
Paying for historical injustice has become a trend. But what do we know about these widows? Whose memory and whose justice are we talking about? Last year the National Military Museum in Soest displayed a small foto exhibition called ‘The Widows’, with portraits of documentary photographer Suzanne Liem and interviews from Immler's research project, entiteld Narrated Injustice. Immler and Liem went to Indonesia to get to know more about the widows and their families and the troubles caused by those monetary compensations.
Intervention in public space
The exhibition is an intervention in a public space that is interrelated with the Dutch ministry of defence, a key agent in determining how the colonial past is publicly discussed. Immler will share some experiences from the field research and of making this exhibition; addressing also some more general assumptions in the Memory and Transitional Justice field.
About the speaker
Nicole L. Immler is Associate Professor in the Department of Globalisation and Dialogue Studies at the University of Humanistic Studies in Utrecht. Before that she was a Marie Curie Fellow in the research program ‘Understanding the Age of Transitional Justice: Narratives in a Historical Perspective’ at the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies in Amsterdam.
Her dissertation was on 'Das Familiengedächtnis der Wittgensteins', a (meta)biographical study of Ludwig Wittgenstein and the concept of family memory. Her Post-Doc project, 'The Afterlife of Restitution', explored the significance and the intergenerational dynamics of the Austrian compensation politics on NS-victims and their families. Her current research 'Narrated (In)justice' explores how post-war and post-colonial memories in the Netherlands interact and how a new legal claim culture on questions of recognition is developing.
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