Prof. Elazar Barkan, the director of Columbia University's Institute for the Study of Human Rights and a member of the Faculty Steering Committee of Columbia Global Centers | Istanbul led a two-day workshop beginning Jan. 15 on "Truth Telling and Encounters: Dynamics in Sites of Dialogue". The workshop was organized by Hafiza Merkezi in collaboration with Columbia Global Centers | Istanbul. This is the first of the thematic workshops organized by the Regional Network for Historical Dialogue and Dealing with the Past, a network of non-governmental organizations led by the Truth Justice and Memory Center (Hafıza Merkezi). The network was inaugurated in October 2013 with a workshop held at the Istanbul Center.
The "Truth Telling and Encounters" program focused on three aspects of the historical dialogue process: truth telling and constructing truth, encounters, and the new media scape. Approximately 40 participants from the network partners from Lebanon, Cyprus, Armenia, Turkey, Croatia and Israel, shared case studies and experiences on this topic. Several fellows of the Alliance for Historical Dialogue and Accountability also attended the meeting. Following the workshop, Prof. Barkan led a roundtable meeting at the Global Center with scholars who specialize in different dimensions of historical dialogue, to discuss possibilities for regional academic cooperation.
In addition to holding thematic workshops and developing a website to document best practices, the network will be organizing a summer training program for NGO practitioners from the region, which will be launched in June 2015.