IAGS2017 Session 10

Day 3, 12 July 1430-1600 Session 10

The UN Security Council and Mass Atrocities

Location W332, Level 3, Forgan Smith
Chair Phil Orchard; University of Queensland
R2P and the Last Resort Requirement
Authors Maartje Weerdesteijn, Utrecht University
Abstract At the 2005 World Summit, the international community accepted the responsibility to protect populations from war crimes, crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing and genocide when the domestic state manifestly fails to do so. The original report of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty on the responsibility to protect covered numerous elements that the authors believed needed to be present in order for military intervention to take place. The present research will argue that only several of those elements remain in the document agreed upon in 2005, namely the just cause, right authority, and last resort requirement and will zoom into the latter aspect. At the World Summit, countries expressed their willingness to take collective action through the UN Security Council, in accordance with chapter VII of the UN Charter, if peaceful means should be inadequate. However, it is not entirely clear what this entails? This paper will discuss the complications that arise out of the manner in which it is phrased and will argue that an assessment of the last resort requirement necessitates a layered approach, looking first at chapters of the UN Charter and thereafter at the articles within chapter VII.
Biography Maartje Weerdesteijn is a lecturer at Utrecht University at the History of International Relations department. She obtained a PhD from Tilburg University, Department of Criminal Law, a Master in International Crimes and Criminology from VU University Amsterdam (Cum Laude), a Bachelor in European Studies (Cum Laude) and previously worked as a lecturer at the Criminal Law and Criminology Department of VU University Amsterdam. In 2014 she was a visiting scholar at Griffith University Australia at the Griffith Asia Institute. Her book “The Rationality of Dictators: Towards a more effective implementation of the responsibility to protect” was recently published by Intersentia.
The Role of the UNSC in Preventing Genocide
Authors Jess Gifkins, Leeds Beckett University
Abstract The UN Security Council is known for its opaque decision-making practices, great power rivalry, and for inaction in response to key cases of mass atrocities. As the key body charged with maintaining international peace and security this presents grave challenges for international responses to situations of genocide. However, the Security Council is also more likely to respond to genocide and mass atrocities now than it ever has been (Bellamy, 2016). Given these tensions, this paper considers the enabling and constraining factors in decision-making practices within the Security Council which both assist and hamper its responses to genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Analysing the crisis in Darfur, this paper explores the process by which key resolutions were negotiated between Security Council members to demonstrate strengths and weaknesses of the body. Drawing on interviews with diplomats, UN documents and news archives this paper reconstructs the negotiations towards pivotal decisions on Darfur between 2004 and 2007 to show how these negotiations were shaped by informal practices. This study points towards factors which enabled specific Security Council responses to the conflict in Darfur which can be useful for activists in identifying points of leverage within the Council.
Biography Dr Jess Gifkins is Senior Lecturer in International Relations at Leeds Beckett University in the United Kingdom. Her research focuses on the practice and process of decision-making within the United Nations system, particularly in relation to R2P. She has published in the European Journal of International Relations, Cooperation and Conflict, Global Responsibility to Protect, the Australian Journal of International Affairs, Critical Military Studies, and contributed the chapter on ‘Darfur’ for the recent Oxford Handbook of the Responsibility to Protect. Her research so far has focused on the cases of Darfur, Libya and Syria. Dr Gifkins did her PhD in the Asia-Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, at the University of Queensland, where she retains an ongoing honorary position, and recently published a Policy Brief with the AP-R2P on ‘UN Security Council Resolutions and the Responsibility to Protect’. She is Associate Editor of Critical Military Studies.
The Politicisation of the Genocide Label: A Discourse Analysis of Genocide Rhetoric by the United Nations Security Council Permanent Five
Authors Michelle Ringrose, Queensland University of Technology
Abstract Labelling an atrocity as genocide is a powerful linguistic act, with a plethora of legal, moral and political ramifications. This paper examines how the United Nations Security Council Permanent Five members navigate the linguistic rhetoric of genocide in debates surrounding the Srebrenica genocide, the largest massacre in Europe since the Holocaust. This project adopts the commonly media focused framing theory in order to determine how permanent members frame the genocide in Srebrenica through the discourses of power and politics in the Security Council. This paper conducts a discourse analysis focusing specifically on explicit and discursive genocide references in debates made in the Security Council from 1995-2015. These explicit themes include the use of the genocide label as well as genocidal euphemisms. The discursive themes discuss more implicit frames such as; deflection, calling out genocide denial and acknowledging failure. This project argues that member states employ the power ascribed to some linguistic features in order to frame the genocide in Srebrenica in a particular manner. Upon integration with relevant literature it is identified that such framing may be influenced by international politics, national interest agendas and historical involvement in past atrocities. This paper provides a platform for understanding how the use of language and power can be central to the politicisation of the genocide label in an international arena.
Biography I began my tertiary studies in 2012 undertaking a Bachelor of Psychology and a Bachelor of Justice (Criminology and Policing) at QUT. In 2014 I attended a Youth United Nations tour of the US, it was a meeting on this trip at the Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation that spurred my passion for genocide research. Upon the completion of my bachelor degrees I undertook my Bachelor of Justice (Honours) with my thesis concentrating on the politicisation of the genocide label within the UN Security Council, specifically regarding the Srebrenica genocide. I am currently a PhD student and sessional academic with the School of Justice at QUT looking at how global civil society organisations, linguistically construct potential genocide cases within an international discourse.

Memory and the Holocaust

Location W349, Level 3, Forgan Smith
Chair Adam Muller; University of Manitoba
Memorialization as an Expression of Democracy
Authors Karen Frostig, The Vienna Project
Abstract The Vienna Project (2013-2014), was the first national memorial in Europe to name, at the same moment, seven different groups of Austrian victims, persecuted and murdered under National Socialism, between 1938-1945. Developed as an inclusive expression of memory, the temporary naming memorial built bridges between the different victims groups, previously pitted against each other while competing for recognition under Austria’s historically underfunded memory program. A new proposal for a permanent Naming Installation is in progress for Austria’s new House of History. The new museum will be located within the Hofburg Imperial Palace at Heldenplatz, and is set to open in 2019, on the anniversary of the end of WWI. In contrast to the design of the former public art memorial, the Naming Installation is being developed as a permanent installation positioned within a private institution. The proposal is under review just as Austria’s Freedom Party, established in the 1950’s by ex-Nazi regime members, boasts of becoming Austria’s number one party in the country’s next parliamentary elections. Presentation of the permanent Naming Installation reviews the design of the earlier “Naming Memorial,” that had been curtailed by a lack of funds and a cultural misreading of the term inclusion, wedded to Austria’s embrace of the European Union’s integration policies and akin to post-war concepts of assimilation. The paper addresses ideas about inclusion and representation in relation to twenty first century memorialization practices and identity politics. Related concepts of erasure are evaluated alongside a troubling rise of populist revisionism in Europe.
Biography Dr. Karen Frostig, Associate Professor at Lesley University and Resident Scholar at Brandeis University, is a public memory artist, a writer, an educator, and founding director, producer and lead artist of The Vienna Project. She holds dual citizenship in the US and in the Republic of Austria. Karen exhibits her work extensively in the US and Europe, is a frequent speaker and keynote speaker at international conferences, and has received multiple awards, and a large number of grants from organizations such as the National Fund, ZukunftsFonds, Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Puffin Foundation, and numerous fellowships. Publications include co-editing Blaze: Discourse on Art Women and Feminism, and co-authoring Expressive Arts Therapies in the Schools. She has also published numerous books chapters and articles in professional journals on topics dealing with memory, testimony, activism, visual culture, and public education.
Through German Eyes: German Amateur Photos and Trans-Generational Renegotiations of the Holocaust
Authors Kirril Shields, University of Queensland
Abstract This paper looks at the proliferation of amateur German photos of the Third Reich now accessible on internet sites such as Instagram, and discusses how such photos are a problematic means of trans-generational remembrance. The paper examines two particular case studies, exploring each as literal and representational modes of interacting with this history. Drawing on the work of scholars who have theorised the photo as both documentary evidence and as examples of Holocaust narrative, including Susan Sontag and Marianne Hirsch, I consider how these photographs are providing a means of memorialisation, yet each is fraught with ethical and historiographical complexity. In questioning the role these photos play in contemporary perceptions of this past (as influenced by social media), I draw on Hirsch’s ideas of postmemory, those inherited memories passed down generations through narrative forms, alongside Roland Barthes’ discussion of the photo’s punctum. I then relate these more theoretical observations to ideas of trans-generational Holocaust empathy, assessing these photos’ potency as legitimate contemporary re-observations of the Nazi regime.
Biography Kirril Shields teaches at the University of Queensland and the University of Southern Queensland. He has completed postgraduate study at the University of Sydney and the University of New South Wales, and is an Auschwitz Jewish Center Fellow, and a Fellow of the Institute on the Holocaust and Jewish Civilisation, Royal Holloway.
Strangers in a Strange Land: Post-WWII Jewish Refugees and the Creation of a Community Holocaust Museum
Authors Emily Sample, Holocaust Museum Houston
Abstract In 1981, Siegi Izakson recognized he wouldn’t be around forever, and as soon as he passed, his story of surviving the Holocaust would disappear with him. While there was a Holocaust museum in Israel, and plans for a Holocaust museum in Washington, D.C., there were no local avenues for preserving the stories and artifacts of Houston Holocaust survivors. Izakson saw an opportunity to galvanize his fellow survivors to create not only a memorial space, but a home for educating future generations about the dangers of hatred, bigotry, and apathy. This presentation explores the enduring responsibility of memory of Holocaust survivors who emigrated as refugees to the Houston area, and it’s growing connection to genocide education and prevention. As a refugee resettlement city, Houston, Texas received hundreds of Jewish refugees during and after World War II, thanks in part to then-Governor Lyndon B. Johnson’s “Operation Texas”. Today, Houston becomes home to approximately three percent of all refugees resettled worldwide by the United Nations. In the two decades since Izakson’s dream became a brick-and-mortar reality, Holocaust Museum Houston has grown its mission to include “promoting responsible individual behavior, cultivating civility and pursuing social justice.” In today’s world of continued antisemitism, xenophobia, and injustice, how can a Holocaust museum act as moral leader in preventing and educating about current human rights abuses? In the most diverse city in the United States, how can the museum develop a space created by refugees, for refugees?
Biography Emily Sample is the Associate Director of Education at Holocaust Museum Houston and has worked in anti-genocide awareness for over a decade. She speaks often at state, national, and international conferences. She earned a Joint European M.A. in Human Rights and Genocide Studies from Kingston University London; her thesis was titled, “Lysistrata Rising: Women Peacebuilders in Post-Conflict Northern Uganda.” She previously interned for the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region Ugandan National Committee on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide and Mass Atrocities, as well as the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. She earned her B.A. from The College of William and Mary with High Honors. Her research interests include Holocaust and genocide education, sexual and gender-based violence, climate change, and the Great Lakes region of Africa.

Culture and Genocide

Location W431, Level 4, Forgan Smith
Chair Henry Theriault; Worcester State University
Erosion or Reclamation: The Ruins of Ani and Armenian Turkish Post-Genocide Reconciliation
Authors Peter Balakian, Colgate University
Abstract The city of Ani is located today on the Turkish-Armenian border and has emerged in recent years as both a dynamic symbol and a problematic nexus in the post-genocide conflict between Turkey and Armenia. The most important Armenian city of the early medieval era, Ani is today a ruin undergoing restoration and is currently a tourist site spanning several miles inside Turkey. In the slow and painful restoration process of Ani over the past decade, the city has come to embody both the Turkish state’s nationalist narrative and the Armenian community’s pursuit of cultural restoration and affirmation of ethical memory. Because the Turkish government has disallowed the word Armenia from appearing on any signage of this dramatic, historic Armenian site, Armenians who visit the site are confronted with a curious state of absence-presence and must negotiate what I call a kind of lock-out syndrome which replicates an aspect of Turkish government denialism. The impact of this is profound and harmful. Thus, the situation of Ani is a site of contested identity and a continued struggle for Armenian diaspora and the Republic for historical truth and moral accountability. My talk will explore the current politics of the Ani restoration project, and its relationship to the history of the city and its earlier restoration project (1894-1915) when the city belonged to Russia. How might the roles of both perpetrator and victim legacy cultures, non-state actors, and third party bystanders come together? How might Ani emerge as a crucial ground for truth and reconciliation?
Biography Peter Balakian is the author of 7 books of poems, 4 books of prose, and 2 collaborative translations. Ozone Journal won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for poetry; Black Dog of Fate won the PEN/Albrand Award for memoir; and The Burning Tigris: The Armenian Genocide and America’s Response won the Raphael Lemkin Prize. He is Donald M and Constance H Rebar Professor of the Humanities in the department of English at Colgate University.
Arabization as Genocide: The Case of the Disputed Territories in Iraq
Authors Mohammed Ihsan, International University of Erbil
Abstract Arabization as a means of destroying Kurdish social fabric has been a recurrent strategy of the various regimes that succeeded in the Middle East. Policies adopted for years have led to dramatic demographic changes in the territories targeted together with cases of forced displacement and killings. Countries like Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Iran among others, have been pursued policies to unite their territories in order to guarantee their political unity. The division of the Kurds into four countries Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey offers a unique opportunity to analyse and evaluate different attempts to “arabize” of “Turkify” their territories. In Turkey, since the coming into power of Ataturk, it has been particularly harsh as they released article 88 and article 3 which neglect the minority. In Iraq, since its creation in 1921 the multi-cultural and multi-lingual Iraqi society has been ruled under pan-Arab ideologies imposed by external factors. It was in the sixties with the coming into power of the Ba’ath party that Arabization became a tool to change the demography of Kurdistan. The Arabization process is it very interesting especially if seen in the context of other forms of genocides carried out against the Kurds during the regime such as the persecution of the Faylee Kurds, the abduction and murder of 8,000 Barzanis, the Anfal campaign and Halabja. To conceit this crime the regime used the educational and judicial systems, police and security forces to implement its policies. The final aim was to ban Kurdish culture and history.
Biography Professor Mohammed Ihsan was minister for Extra-Regional Affairs from 2005 to 2011, Minister for Human Rights, President of the General Board for Disputed Areas in Iraq, International Investigator for Genocide Crimes in Iraq from 2001 to 2005 and Kurdistan Representative to Federal Government in Iraq from 2007-2012. He holds a PhD in International Law and another PHD (Exon) in Arab and Islamic Studies. He is the founder of Civic Education programs for Iraqi Kurdistan Schools and the Center for Genocide Studies in Kurdistan, which is the first academic center for genocide studies in the area. He is a board member of governors for International Society for the Philosophy of Human Rights. Professor Ihsan has authored various articles and books on Kurdistan and Iraq. In the last few years, most of his research work has been devoted to the Kurdish question and middle-east issues, as well as investigations into genocide and crimes of war in today's world.
Genocide and the Destruction of Cultural Property: Exploring the Possibilities of Justice for the Cham
Authors Rachel Killean, Queen’s University Belfast
Abstract This paper seeks to highlight the experience of the Cham people, a minority Islamic group who were subjected to a genocide during the Khmer Rouge era (1975-1979) in Cambodia. As part of this genocide, the cultural property of the Cham was systematically targeted: the Cham were forbidden to practice their religion, and mosques and religious artefacts were destroyed. Four decades later, two senior leaders of the Khmer Rouge regime are on trial for genocide at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC). The Court allows victims to join the trial as Civil Parties, giving them participatory rights and allowing them to apply for collective and moral reparations. This reparation mandate allows external actors and funders to collaborate with the Court’s Victim Support Section in the implementation of externally funded projects designed to acknowledge the harm experienced by Civil Parties, and respond to that harm. This paper will draw on field work conducted within Cham communities and with transitional justice professionals working in Cambodia. It will explore the ways in which the Cham reflect on their experience under the Khmer Rouge, and consider the harm caused by the destruction of their cultural property. It will further consider Cham attitudes towards the ECCC, and reflect on the Court’s ability to deliver justice for the genocide perpetrated against the Cham population. In particular, it will consider the possibilities for reparations which respond to the destruction of their cultural property.
Biography Rachel Killean is a lecturer at Queen’s University Belfast, where she lectures in Public Law and Human Rights Law. Her research centres around two key topics: first, the ways in which states and other actors respond to international crimes and mass human rights violations, and second, the various factors and contexts which influence the invisibility or visibility of certain crimes and harms. She primarily focuses on the crimes perpetrated during the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia, and her current research examines the possibility of reparations for the destruction of cultural property, and responses to conflict-related sexual and gender based violence perpetrated during the Khmer Rouge regime.

Representations of Genocide

Location W426, Level 4, Forgan Smith
Chair Lyndall Ryan; University of Newcastle
Echoes of Persecution: The Case of Indonesia, 1965-68
Authors Christian Gerlach, University of Bern
Abstract This paper suggests a new approach to research into mass violence and applies it to the Indonesian mass murders and persecution of 1965-68. It is based on the question: how did it sound? Information about sonic events will be gathered from a great number of survivor accounts. The history and memory of sound is a grossly neglected but important topic. On a general level, interdisciplinary research has established that sounds express power hierarchies, social relations and interaction, cultural difference, community building, and are closely tied to emotions. Specifically, sounds can add to our understanding of persecutors, the means of violence and the system of persecution, of the role of technology, of the experience of persecution, the feelings of those under persecution, their survival strategies and their interaction with persecutors and wider society – the latter being a topic of special importance in 1960s Indonesia. Sounds themselves are often means of violence. It will be shown what role certain sounds play in survivors‘ narratives, and the attempt will be made to extrapolate what role it plays in their memories. This paper is part of a broader project that focuses on the history of the persecution of the European Jews but involves other cases of mass violence. Accordingly, this paper also tries to identify some particularities of sounds, their meaning and memory in the Indonesian case by way of comparison.
Biography Christian Gerlach teaches contemporary history at the University of Bern after having taught at the Universities of Freiburg, Maryland at College Park, Singapore and Pittsburgh. His research interests include Nazi Germany and World War II, comparative mass violence and the history of food, agriculture, hunger and related development policies in global history. Recent book publications: The Extermination of the European Jews (Cambridge, 2016) and Extremely Violent Societies: Mass Violence in the Twentieth Century World (Cambridge, 2010).
Reading the Law of Genocide through the Lens of Literature
Authors Clotilde Pégorier, University of Essex
Abstract The relationship between genocide and representation has long-since become a locus of interdisciplinary interest. Traditionally, discussions have revolved around the moral limitations that attend the aesthetic (re-)presentation of ‘unspeakable’ acts and/or addressed the value of the imagination in working through the trauma of violence. Lacking in the current scholarship are, however, analyses of how imaginative representations also reflect on the legal-ethical context within which genocide is defined and understood. Even in law-and-literature and law-and-film studies, with their common focus on the ethics of law, there has been little sustained engagement with the law of genocide. Yet over the past two decades, a growing number of artists have sought, using both traditional and experimental media forms, to explore the ethical-legal landscapes within which genocide might unfold. The aim of this paper is threefold. First, it will outline some initial ideas for a critical approach for exploring the law of genocide through such representations. Second, it will illustrate such ideas via reference to the graphic novel Smile Through the Tears, focusing in particular on the extent to which, and specific ways in which, the text raises key issues relating to processes of classification and dehumanisation, as well as wider questions regarding guilt and culpability, and considering how these might help inform public and/or popular understandings of the legal concerns at play in judgments from the ICTR. Finally, it shall also briefly reflect upon the possible limitations of such portrayals and how they may run the risk of misrepresenting realities.
Biography Clotilde Pégorier is a lecturer in the School of Law at the University of Essex. She has previously held teaching and research positions at the universities of Zurich, Lucerne and Exeter, and completed her PhD at the latter institution in 2011. Her primary research interests lie in the fields of international criminal law, international humanitarian law, refugee law and European and comparative law. She has published a full-length monograph study on the legal qualification of ethnic cleansing, and a number of additional book chapters and journal articles on various topics, including genocide denial, crimes of persecution and transitional justice issues.
The Representation of Genocide in the Years of Postmodernity
Authors Theodoros Pelekanidis, Humboldt University, Berlin
Abstract In the last years the discussion about the historiographical aspects of the genocide studies has developed in a very promising way. At the same time the theory and philosophy of history has evolved through new ideas, mainly based on the thought provoking opinions of postmodern writers, such as Jean Francois Lyotard, Hayden White or Frank Ankersmit. Combining these two research areas we can form very interesting conclusions about the way genocide is being understood historically and incorporated into the social mentality. On the one hand, the postmodern theory of history tries to deconstruct the concepts of objective past, replacing them with a multitude or even infinity of possible subjective pasts. On the other hand, the subject of genocide asks serious ethical questions about the way historians can interpret and represent historical events by taking into consideration the impact that some of these representations can have in the present. In my paper I would like to examine how the representation of the past can be succeeded in a way where most of the historical interpretations can be represented, whereas in the same time there are no ethical implications, such as the insult of the victims or their successors. I believe that the role of history should not only be informative about the past but also critical about the present. The subject of genocide plays an important role in such investigations, as it raises the challenge of achieving a double goal: objective historical representation and prevention of future repetition.
Biography I am a 27-year-old Phd Student from Thessaloniki, Greece. I studied History and Archaeology in Aristoteleio University of Thessaloniki from 2007 till 2011 and that’s when I first wondered what history is. I needed two masters, in modern history and in modern political theory and philosophy, to start understanding that the question was hard to answer. The concepts of postmodernism attracted my attention and I should admit that this was done more because they are provocative than because they are well founded. I am now doing my PhD in Humboldt University in Berlin, writing my thesis titled “The postmodern critique on classical historiography and the example of the Holocaust: philosophy of history as a means of political emancipation”. I am also working in the Jewish Museum of Berlin and am very interested in genocide cases.

Film Session E

Location Moot Court W237, Level 2, Forgan Smith
The Look of Silence (2014)
Director Joshua Oppenheimer
Runtime 103 minutes
Abstract The Look of Silence is Joshua Oppenheimer’s powerful companion piece to the Oscar-nominated The Act of Killing. Through Oppenheimer's footage of perpetrators of the 1965 Indonesian genocide, a family of survivors discovers how their son was murdered, as well as the identities of the killers. The documentary focuses on the youngest son, an optometrist named Adi, who decides to break the suffocating spell of submission and terror by doing something unimaginable in a society where the murderers remain in power: he confronts the men who killed his brother and, while testing their eyesight, asks them to accept responsibility for their actions. This unprecedented film initiates and bears witness to the collapse of fifty years of silence.