Nearly twenty scholars from several countries are having a workshop on Practices of Memorialization & the Process of Social Reconstruction after large-scale Human Rights Abuses and Violations, which is being chaired by Martin J.M. Hoondert (Tilburg University) and Gema Varona Martínez (Basque Institute of Criminology). There are two sessions about Basque cases, one of them being a presentation about monuments to Basque victims of the Civil War and Francoism and how they have a prominent role in reactivating memory and in the social recognition; and the other, a reading of key ideas on memorialization after the end of ETA.
According to Hoondert and Varona, "the criminal justice responses alone - and defined many times merely as punitivism - do not offer a sufficiently adequate or comprehensive answer to do justice to victims and to enhance social reconstruction in a post-conflict society". On the other hand, "in the experience of justice practices of memorialization which involve interpretations of the atrocious past play a pivotal role".
Among the aims of the workshop are studying (the construction of) victimhood and (the perception of) justice in relation to processes of social construction through practices of memorialization. By presenting and comparing case studies related to different kinds of atrocities, civil wars and human rights’ abuses, the participants to the workshop are being able to discuss on ‘best practices’ regarding practices of memorialization in the context of social reconstruction. The workshop will give the opportunity to build relations between academics and practitioners to collect expertise which is now fragmented, and to determine and subsequently learn from best practices, taken into account the need of local contextualization from a critical socio-legal perspective.