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Human Rights Institute Lunch Talk: The Danger of Forgetting: Memorialization, Memory, and Transitional Justice

Tuesday, September 24th, 2019 @ 12:10pm to 1:10pm
Jerome Greene Hall, Room 105
Sep 24
Tuesday, September 24th, 2019 @ 12:10pm to 1:10pm
Jerome Greene Hall, Room 105


  • Milena Duran, Oral Historian, Archivist and Public Educator at Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo (Argentina)
  • Francis Opio, Transitional Justice Practitioner at the Foundation for Justice and Development Initiatives (Uganda)
  • Reina Milad Sarkis, Psychoanalysis Practitioner and Co-Founder of MoHR and Springhints (Lebanon) 

Moderator: Maya Alkateb-Chami, Managing Director, Human Rights Institute, Columbia Law School

* All of the speakers are current Fellows with the Alliance for Historical Dialogue and Accountability at Columbia University's Institute for the Study of Human Rights.


Responding to the immediate atrocities of war, conflict, and terror is naturally the primary focus of recovery, but long-term impacts are equally serious and pressing. Featuring experts from Argentina, Lebanon, and Uganda, this program will analyze the importance of collective memory in the wake of violence and discuss how memorialization can be used as a tool to both bring about transitional justice and preserve the heritage of a nation in turmoil. 

Milena Duran is a lecturer and scholar of history who focuses on recent history and memory, and an educator and archivist with the Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo (Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo), a non-governmental organization that searches for the children - today adults - that were kidnapped and appropriated during the last military dictatorship in Argentina. Francis Opio is a transitional justice practitioner in northern Uganda who, having experienced the effects of war first-hand, is working to further memorialization and preservation of victims’ stories as central pillars of transitional justice. Reina Milad Sarkis is a human rights-focused psychoanalyst who works towards the construction of a Lebanese identity built from a collective memory as the nation continues to cope with its violent past. Her work on “living memory” includes providing group therapy for torture victims.


This event is co-sponsored by the Columbia Law School Human Rights Institute (HRI) and Columbia University’s Alliance for Historical Dialogue and Accountability and Institute for the Study of Human Rights. It is presented as part of HRI's Culture and Human Rights Fall 2019 event series. 

All are welcome and lunch will be provided.