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Telling the Story:


"Prisoner Of Conscience" by Victor Ekpuk

Power and Responsibility in Documenting Human Rights Violations

September 15-16, 2005
Hassenfeld Conference Center, Brandeis University

The intent of Telling the Story was to analyze, over a two-day period, the process by which human rights violations are documented and the reasons they are made public. The conference brought 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, and anthropologists.

Telling the Story had 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 was sponsored by the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life, in collaboration with the Department of Anthropology, Brandeis Institute for Investigative Journalism, Latin American Studies Program, and the Heller School, as well as the Greater Boston Anthropology Consortium.

Academic Directors
Leigh Swigart, International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life
Mark Auslander, Department of Anthropology

The Center wishes to thank the Boston Foundation and the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, for their support of Telling the Story.

Telling Group

Boston FoundationMass. Foundation for Humanities