Center receives funding for Telling the Story

The Center is pleased to announce that it has received grants from both the Boston Foundation and the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. These funds are to support "Telling the Story: Power and Responsibility in Documenting Human Rights Violations.” The event will take place on September15-16, 2005.

“Telling the Story” will break new ground in defining the issues surrounding the ways that human rights abuses are reported and the purposes this reporting serves. We feel that this topic has enormous significance for the way that Americans, and other global citizens, view the world and its performance in the field of human rights. The event will bring together practitioners who produce or use documentation of violations–such as journalists, filmmakers, artists, human rights reporters, forensic specialists, and legal practitioners–with scholars who approach it from theoretical perspectives–such as legal scholars, women’s studies scholars, anthropologists, and historians.

"Telling the Story" has two principal aims: 1) to promote an elevated awareness of the complex processes and decisions that go into documenting human rights violations, thus helping the consumers of such documents to analyze and interpret them with thoughtfulness and skepticism; and 2) to provide an opportunity for practitioners of human rights documentation to explore systematically these processes and decisions in a multidisciplinary framework.

The conference will be divided into two parts. The first is a series of presentations by documenters who will present a “human rights story” that they have created, analyzing its aims, audience, sources, impact, and so on. The second part consists of three panels that explore various aspects of human rights documentation in depth.

These panels are entitled:
1) Bringing to Light
2) Struggles Over Voice
3) Audience, Efficacy, Ethics

Panels will allow ample time for discussion among participants and those in attendance. Participants include human rights experts from a variety of fields who hail from and work in many parts of the world, including Africa, Latin America, and the United States.

The organization of “Telling the Story” is a collaborative effort by the Center, Department of Anthropology, Brandeis Institute for Investigative Journalism, Latin American Studies Program, and the Heller School, as well as the Greater Boston Anthropology Consortium. It will be open to students and faculty as well as the practitioner community throughout the Boston area. For more information call 781.736.8577 or email the Center.