"Rights to Justice: Mass Graves and Memorialization"

On the 9th of May 2016 the Indonesian government announced that it would form a team to investigate mass graves of victims of the 1965-1966 massacres based on the list of locations compiled by various victims’ advocacy groups. However until this moment there has been no further attempt to investigate or to protect these mass graves as sites of the mass killings conducted in 1965-1966 of those alleged to be communists.   This Annual Seminar aims to bring to light two cases:  the exceptional case of Plumbon (Central Java) where a monument has been erected with the names of those killed in this period as victims of the massacres. And as a comparative case, the deliberate destruction of the 1988 mass graves which took place in Iran and the geo-mapping of the genocide sites. Discussion of these two cases will be a highly significant entry point for further reflection on advocacy strategies in dealing with the massacres that took place in 1965-1966.   

Memorialization through the preservation of human remains can become a central component in providing an account of past violence and brutality and in educating the public about the sheer scope of death that occurred. It can also help promote reconciliation but only through the process of truth telling and remembrance of the past which also becomes a symbolic tool of 'never again'. The memorialization of these mass graves will also be placed within the recent political developments regarding the search for historical truth of the 1965-1966 events.

Date:  3 November 2017

Time: 15.00 - 17.00

Place: International Institute of Social History (Internationaal Instituut voor Sociale Geschiedenis - IISG)

Cruquiusweg 31, Amsterdam

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14.30 - 15.00            Entry and Drinks  

15.00 - 15.05            Opening – by Ratna Saptari  (Coordinator Annual Seminar IPT1965 Series)

15.05 - 15.20            'Taking a Step Back'...? Update on 'Dealing with Past Atrocity' 

                                  by Nursjahbani Katjasungkana  (General Coordinator IPT 1965)

15.30 - 15.50            The Struggles for Memorialization of  Mass Graves in Plumbon Semarang, Central Java   

                                  by Yunantyo Adi Setyawan (Chair of the Committee for Mass Grave Memorialization, Plumbon)

15.50 - 16.15            Discussion

16.15 - 16.35            Shadi Sadr :Landscapes of Pain:  Mass Graves in Iran 

                                  (Founder and Executive Director of Justice for Iran)

16.35 - 17.00            Discussion + Conclusion 

                                   Saskia Wieringa (Chair of the IPT1965 Foundation)