chapter  11
17 Pages

Truth, memory and peacebuilding

ByPaul Jackson, Danielle Beswick

This chapter explores Burke's quote, which illustrates the important connection between memory and peacebuilding. Memory as a concept thus refers to wider processes of remembering and the constitution of narratives of the past. It can be seen as the 'processes of constructing the past in the present'. Peace or citizenship education and history education are, however, two different aspects of education, which should both be addressed. In spite of the increasing recognition of the importance of truth and memory, arguments have sometimes been made for amnesia, or purposeful forgetting. Forgetting can be liberating, freeing a society from the burden of the past and enabling it to focus on the future. This is exemplified again by the case of Rwanda, where the education curriculum promotes critical thinking and peacebuilding, which is in clear contrast to the earlier described imposition of a single narrative about the past which highlights the memory of some genocide survivors whilst ignoring the memory of others.