Humanity in Action Fellowship in Amsterdam

Program Description

The History of the Holocaust & the Politics of Memory

Human rights, inclusivity and democracy are historical constructs that are not self-evident, or even uncontested. We often draw our common moral norms and values from so called lessons from the past; lessons often learned the hard way, from war and other atrocities. But is it possible to make such a link between history and present? And if so, from which particular history are we learning?

The first week of the Humanity in Action Amsterdam Fellowship 2018 focuses on the relationship between the history of the Holocaust and the contemporary human rights discourse. Furthermore, it explores the process of collective memory construction (politics of memory), and zoom in on historical narratives that have been neglected - or not fully acknowledged - as being part of collective Dutch and European History.

The Holocaust & Human Rights

Fellows start their journey at the Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam. A special location, not just because of its unique history, but also because it offers visitors an individual perspective from which the history of the Holocaust is told. A narrative people can identify with. Furthermore, the educational mission of the Anne Frank Museum is to connect this history to contemporary issues such as racism, Islamophobia, and antisemitism in The Netherlands. During this first part of the journey from Amsterdam to Strasbourg, Fellows will learn how and why the Holocaust has had a major impact on our contemporary discourses on human rights, inclusivity and democracy.

The Holocaust & Collective Memory

The Second World War and the Holocaust are integral to the Dutch and European memory culture. After the war The Netherlands adopted the (partly mythical) narrative of being ‘small, but plucky’, referring to active resistance against German occupation. It was a narrative of victimhood and bravery, ignoring the less heroic chapters on active and passive collaboration. In short, The Netherlands (as did most European countries) constructed and institutionalized (in curricula for example) a collective memory from a very selective reading of history; a memory on which the Dutch post-war identity was built.

Not just on a national level, but also on a European (or even global) level the Holocaust has been put forward as the cornerstone of a collective identity. Is it possible to construct a transnational identity on the basis of a historical narrative that is interpreted differently in almost every single European country?

Forgotten Histories & the Politics of Memory

As we have established, the Second World War and the Holocaust are a fundamental part of Dutch, European, and one might even say global, collective memory and identity. But are these the only histories we can learn from in the context of human rights, inclusivity and democracy? Due to the changing demography and the emancipation of minority groups within The Netherlands and Europe, other historical narratives now ask for our attention and acknowledgement. By focusing on the history of slavery and colonialism, and Dutch war crimes in the former Dutch-Indies, the program demonstrates that confrontation with ‘dark pages’ in history is crucial for any self-proclaimed democracy, that every construction of memory is a process of in-and exclusion, and that this process is inherently political.

The Politics of Identity

In the second week, programmatic focus shifts from the Politics of Memory to the related Politics of Identity. Firstly, Fellows explore the discussions about the contested concept itself. Are the Politics of Identity an emancipatory phenomenon or a divisive rhetorical instrument? After the conceptual analysis Fellows continue their journey by conversing with individuals and collectives who are marginalized and discriminated against on the basis of their gender, sexuality, race or other types of background and identity. Again, as in the first week, we scrutinize processes of in- and exclusion within the larger framework of human rights, diversity, democracy and the Rule of Law, yet from a contemporary perspective.

Racism, Islamophobia, and Antisemitism in The Netherlands

The enduring phenomena of racism, Islamophobia and antisemitism in Dutch society remain one of the - if not the biggest - threat to social cohesion in The Netherlands. These phenomena manifest themselves on a daily basis, in the streets, at the workplace and on social media. However, it is not just ‘everyday racism’ that people of color, Muslims or Jews have to cope with. The program examines how this type of discrimination is also institutional, ingrained in education, media, museums and legislation.

The Plight of Refugees in Europe

Notwithstanding international law and treaties, refugees who arrive at the borders of Europe today face serious hindrances in having their rights protected. Apart from the often hazardous journey they venture upon to reach safe havens, they face lack of legal recognition, protection by law. In order to have a better understanding of the plight of refugees in Europe the Fellows shall visit a collective of ‘undocumented’ refugees: WE ARE HERE. The Fellows will discuss European migration policy from various angles in the following week.

Intersections in the Struggle for LGBTQI++ Rights

Although Amsterdam prides itself on being called ‘the gay capital’ of Europe, at the same time vicious attacks on members of the LGBTQI++ community are plentiful and happen on almost a weekly basis. So despite of the progress made in the last decades, there is still a long road ahead of us, in The Netherlands, Europe, and around the globe. We will meet with activists and approach the emancipation of the LGBTQI++ community from an intersectional perspective.

The Future of Europe and the EU in a Global Context

The Fellows started their journey in Amsterdam, discussing the Politics of Memory and the Politics of Identity. Now that we are closing in on our final destination Strasbourg, the seat of the European Parliament, we are putting the discussions of the previous weeks in the context of the EU, Europe and international relations. How does the EU - and The Netherlands as an integral part of it - deal with issues of migration, identity and diversity? Furthermore, we turn our attention to the challenges that are detrimental to the unity of this transnational governing body.

Migration Policy

In line with the previous week Fellows continue the debate with selected experts on refugee and migration policy. How does the EU intend to ‘control’ migration flows and at the same time protect the human rights of (undocumented) refugees?

In this phase of the program we specifically focus on the issue of borders, nationality deprivation and the situation in Greece. Fellows are asked to reflect upon the inability of the international community to adequately respond to the continued refugee crisis.

Nationalism and Fascism on the Rise?

Having explored nationalism and fascism from a historical perspective, Fellows now turn attention to contemporary manifestations in - and outside of - Europe. How have the nationalist and fascist movements - that have been detrimental to peace and stability in the past - found their way back into the political mainstream? Or, have they never left?

International Relations

In an ever-changing geopolitical context, the EU is trying to reposition itself with the balance of power, engaging in identity politics on a macro-level. The Fellows will scrutinize the impact of the EU in discussions on international conflict and security. Is the EU still a political force to reckon with? Fellows are asked to critically reflect upon EU policy and politics in a global; context, conceptually preparing them for the international Humanity in Action conference in Strasbourg.

2018 Agenda

June 9

Introduction Weekend
  • Introduction to the Day (Yannick Servais, Humanity in Action The Netherlands Program Director and Laura Lasance, Humanity in Action The Netherlands National Director)
  • Building a community I: Interacting, Discussing, Respecting (Lorenz Narku Laing Research Associate at LMU Munich, Diversity Trainer at Vielfaltsprojekte, Humanity in Action Action Senior Fellow (Berlin, 2014), member of the Board of Directors of Humanity in Action Germany)
  • Building a Community II: Interacting, Discussing, Respecting (Lorenz Narku Laing)
  • Program Closure & Community Reflection

June 10

Introduction Weekend

  • Introduction to the Day
  • Personal Leadership (Osiris Hoepel, Freelance Trainer, Teacher Coach, Moderator)
  • Introduction to the Curriculum of the Fellowship Program
  • Program Closure & Community Reflection
  • Travel to Amsterdam

June 11

Week 1: The History of the Holocaust & the Politics of Memory

  • Introduction to the Day and Welcome by Judith Goldstein, Founder and Executive Director of Humanity in Action
  • Walk to Anne Frank House
  • Welcome and introduction to the mission of the Anne Frank House (Cihan Tekeli, Educator and Project Manager at the Anne Frank Foundation, Humanity in Action Senior Fellow (Amsterdam, 2008))
  • Audio Tour at the Anne Frank House
  • The Holocaust & Human Rights (Cihan Tekeli)
  • Discrimination, Antisemitism and Islamophobia in The Netherlands (Willem Wagenaar, Head Researcher at the Anne Frank Stichting)
  • Fellow Talk Deniz Aktas
  • Fellow Talk Colin Burke
  • Fellows Discussion (Moderated by Zarah Winter and Sascha Wijnhoven)
  • Program Closure & Community Reflection

June 12

Week 1: The History of the Holocaust & the Politics of Memory
  • Introduction to the Day
  • Theatre Performance (Carolien Zimmerman, Theatre maker;Fanny Heymann, Holocaust Survivor and lecturer)
  • The Holocaust & European Identity (Ferenc Laczó, Assistant Professor of History at Maastricht University)
  • May 4 National Remembrance Day: ‘The Silence and the Storm’ (Ilse Raaijmakers, Historian and Author ‘The Silence and the Storm’)
  • Fellows Discussion (Moderated by Hans Wallage and Chelsea Thorpe)
  • Koen Vossen, political historian, Radboud University Nijmegen: Populism in The Netherlands
  • Program Closure & Community Reflection

June 13

Week 1: The History of the Holocaust & the Politics of Memory

  • Introduction to the Day
  • Guided tour at Castrum Peregrini, Reflective discussion with Judith Goldstein on victims, perpetrators and bystanders
  • Walk along the Amsterdam Canals to the Humanity in Action Office
  • Islamophobia in The Netherlands (Ibtissam Abaaziz, PhD candidate, Project Coordinator at Meld Islamofobie!)
  • Dutch War Crimes in Indonesia (Marjolein van Pagee, Publicist in the field of the colonial history of the Netherlands; Jeffry Pondaag, Chairman of the Dutch Honorary Duties Foundation)
  • Fellows Discussion
  • Program Closure & Community Reflection

June 14

Week 1: The History of the Holocaust & the Politics of Memory

  • Inclusive Architecture (Arna Mackic, Architect and founder of Studio L A, Head of Architectural Design at Gerrit Rietveld Academy)
  • Microrevolutions (Sinan Çankaya, Assistant Professor Cultural Anthropology at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)
  • Political Campaigning (Ilana Cukier, Campaign strategist at BKB Campagnebureau)
  • Fellows Discussion
  • Program Closure and Community Reflection

June 15

Week 1: The History of the Holocaust & the Politics of Memory

  • Introduction to the Day
  • Action Workshops - Group 1: Documentary with Kim van Haaster, Filmmaker and Anthropologist; Group 2: Theatre with David Limaverde, Freelance Art Educator, Performer and Researcher
  • Action Workshops - Group 3: Writing with Anouk Eigenraam, Freelance Journalist
  • Program Surprise
  • Celebratory dinner with Humanity in Action & Host families

June 18

Week 2: The Politics of Identity

  • Introduction to the Day
  • Group Evaluation of Week 1
  • Work on Creative Presentations (Yannick Servais, Humanity in Action The Netherlands Program Director)
  • Program Closure and Community Reflection

June 19

Week 2: The Politics of Identity

  • Introduction to the Day
  • Tropenmuseum visit Exhibition: ‘The Present of the History of Slavery’(Wayne Modest, Head of Research Center for Material Culture at Tropenmuseum and professor of Material Culture and Critical Heritage Studies)
  • Lunch and Eritrean Community Center
  • Travel to the Black Archives and Exhibitions (Mitchell Esajas, Co-Founder and Chairman of New Urban Collective, Co-Founder Black Archives, Humanity in Action Senior Fellow 2016)
  • Racism and activism in the Netherlands and the U.S.: A comparative perspective (Lucas Johnson, Civil Rights Activist, Coordinator of the International Fellowship of Reconciliation (IFOR))
  • Fellows Discussion
  • Program Closure and Community Reflection

June 20

Week 2: The Politics of Identity

  • Introduction to the Day
  • An introduction into Identity Politics (Jacqueline Tizora, Student, Consultant at Recipes for Self-Love and Freelance Journalist)
  • The Music and Art of Janelle Monae (Dan Hassler Forest, Assistant Professor English Literature at Utrecht University)
  • Graphic Novel: My Favourite Thing is Monsters (Dan Hassler Forest, Assistant Professor English Literature at Utrecht University)
  • On Privilege (Inez Blanca van der Scheer, Researcher and Activist, Founding Member of the University of Colour, PhD candidate at the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis)
  • Fellows Discussion (Moderated by Saša Paniç and Roline Palmer)

June 21

Week 2: The Politics of Identity

  • Introduction to the Day
  • Black Feminist Thought, Olave Nduwanje, Lawyer, Writer, Activist and Politician)
  • Homonationalism (Tugba Öztemir, Human Rights Activist and Peer-educator)
  • Black Queer & Trans Resistance Movement
  • Fellows Discussion (Moderated by Kendall Oehler, Deniz Aktas and Michael Markodimitrakis)
  • Program Closure and Community Reflection

June 22

Week 2: The Politics of Identity

  • Introduction to the Day
  • Decolonising the University and Diversity in Education (Aminata Cairo, Lector Inclusive Education at De Haagse Hogeschool)
  • Situational Leadership (Osiris Hoepel, Freelance Trainer, Teacher Coach, Moderator)
  • Group Evaluation of Week 2
  • Work on Creative Presentations
  • Program Closure and Community Reflection

June 25

Week 3: The Future of Europe and the EU in a Global Context

  • Introduction to the Day
  • Human Rights in the Netherlands & Strategic Litigation for Activists (Jelle Klaas, Human Rights Lawyer and Project Coordinator for the Public Interest Litigation Project (PILP))
  • Visit Refugee Collective WE ARE HERE
  • Fellows Discussion (Moderated by Evelyn Mangold, Colin Burke and Stevi Kitsou)
  • Program Closure and Community Reflection

June 26

Week 3: The Future of Europe and the EU in a Global Context

  • Introduction to the Day
  • Group meet at Hotel Ibis Amsterdam Centre
  • Travel to Rotterdam by Train
  • Why The Netherlands need NIDA (Nourdin El Ouali, NIDA, Party leader NIDA)
  • Visit Witte de With Museum: Decolonizing the Museum
  • Travel to Heilige Boontjes
  • Visit Heilige Boontjes: The Reintegration of Former Youth Delinquents
  • Fellows Discussion
  • Program Closure and Community Reflection
  • Travel back to Amsterdam

June 27

Week 3: The Future of Europe and the EU in a Global Context

  • Introduction to the Day
  • Community Reflection
  • Dutch and European Migration Policy (Paul Scheffer, Author and Professor European Studies at Tilburg University)
  • Propaganda Then and Now (Nenad Fiser, Philosopher, Former Research Officer and Intelligence Analyst at the International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia in The Hague
  • Fellows Discussion (Moderated by Manisha Kalikadien, Alida Cluistra and Tanner Haughn)
  • Program Closure and Community Reflection

June 28

Week 3: The Future of Europe and the EU in a Global Context

  • Introduction to the Day
  • The Conservative Embrace of Progressive Values (Merijn Oudenampsen, Sociologist and Political Scientist)
  • Nationality Deprivation (Sanghita Jaghai, PhD Researcher at the Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion
  • Fellows Discussion (Moderated by Marleen Fleers, Payton Head and Eva Jewett-Gatschet)
  • Program Closure and Community Reflection

June 29

Week 3: The Future of Europe and the EU in a Global Context

  • Introduction to the Day
  • Work on Creative Presentations
  • The Refugee Crisis in Greece (Maria Garaki, UNHCR Greece, Humanity in Action Senior Fellow (2017, Berlin))
  • Program Closure and Community Reflection
  • Smash the Pillars Book Launch at The Black Archives

July 2

Week 4: Nationalism and Fascism on the Rise?

  • Introduction to the Day
  • Preparations Fellows Event
  • Program Closure and Community Reflection

July 3

Week 4: Nationalism and Fascism on the Rise?

  • Introduction to the Day
  • Group Evaluation of Week 3
  • Preparations Fellows Event
  • Preparations Public Fellows Event
  • Fellows Event (Fatma Koşer Kaya, Lawyer and politician, Former Member of Parliament and Alderwoman of Wassenaar, Chair to the Humanity in Action Netherlands Board of Directors; Laura Lasance, National Director, Humanity in Action The Netherlands
  • Reception and Dinner

July 4

Week 4: Nationalism and Fascism on the Rise?

  • Introduction to the day & Reflections Fellows Event At Chocolonely Foundation
  • The Bitter Stories: Discussion on Modern Slavery and the Cocoa Industry
  • Travel to HIA Office
  • Program Closure & Community Reflection
  • Preparations Strasbourg International Conference
  • Pack and say goodbye to host families

July 5

Week 4: Nationalism and Fascism on the Rise?

  • Departure Amsterdam Central Station - Offenburg
  • Departure Offenburg - Strasbourg
  • Arrival Strasbourg

July 5-8

9th HIA International Conference in Strasbourg 

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