Restorative

Using Theatrical Tales as Documentation of Personal Testimonies

Stories are one of the most effective means in documenting an event a group of people or a society has witnessed. This tactic is a model of using dramatization, the art of storytelling and theatre, as a way of documenting personal testimonies and registering them as one of the written and painted historical sources away from the hands of the government and their historians, and to remind the people of the demands that they protested for.

Standing in silence at symbolic locations to protest government abuses and memorialize victims

Turkish protesters stood in silence at symbolic locations to draw attention to government abuses and unmet promises.

Mass demonstrations began in Istanbul in May 2013 as protests aimed at halting government plans to develop a popular urban park grew into a broader social movement to protest increasingly authoritarian policies and the violent response to peaceful demonstrations.

Using Facebook to provide anonymity and support to people at risk of discrimination

In Lebanon, an LGBT advocacy organisation (not to be named here for privacy reasons) created a Facebook profile with no photo and no friends to safely mobilise people who needed support, community connection and/or wanted to find others interested to advocate for LGBT rights. The profile served as a way to direct people to the organisation's website without threatening their security or anonymity by publicly linking them with an LGBT organisation.

Using social media to engage supporters in documenting their acts of solidarity

Men submit photos of themselves dressed as women to the “Kurd Men for Equality” Facebook page to support women’s rights.

The police forces of Marivan, Iran, punished a criminal convicted of domestic abuse by forcing him to wear traditional Kurdish women’s clothing. This punishment was meant to be a form of public humiliation. However, many men felt that the punishment was derogatory towards women and began a Facebook campaign to tell the Iranian authorities that “being a woman is not a tool to humiliate or punish anyone.”

Using forensics to identify victims’ remains and cause of death

Over the past two decades, Equipo Argentino de Antropologia Forense (the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team, or EAAF) has identified the remains of victims of state violence. During Argentina’s military dictatorship (1976–1983), 10,000 to 30,000 people were killed or “disappeared” by the state. The EAAF’s goal is three-fold: to return victims’ remains to their families and thus aid in the healing process; to provide evidence for legal cases against the perpetrators of state violence; and to train and support the formation of other forensic teams in coun­tries that have suffered periods of violence and need to investigate the past.

For more information on this tactic, read our in-depth case study.

Using testing to prove discrimination and obtain direct evidence

NEKI uses testing to prove discrimination and obtain this direct evidence. The group identifies and trains people who are sent out as testers to replicate the actions of those who claim to have experienced discrimination. Each tester must be a reliable and objective observer and his or her profile must match that of the person who expe­rienced discrimination as much as possible. NEKI then uses the evidence collected to initiate legal proceedings against the offending business or organization.

For more information on this tactic, read our in-depth case study.

Using civil lawsuits to seek redress for victims of torture

The Center for Justice and Accountability (CJA) helps victims of torture by using United States Federal Laws to bring charges against their torturers, regardless of the country in which the torture took place. This tactic shows that redress can be sought against perpetrators of torture. In creating and applying these kinds of laws, governments show a commitment to justice for victims and to exposing those who are guilty of crimes against humanity.

For more information on this tactic, read our in-depth case study.

Building local capacity for trauma-focused mental health services through an intensive training model

The Center for Victims of Torture (CVT) trains refugees as peer counselors in Guinea and Sierra Leone. The refu­gees provide mental health services to others who have suffered torture and war trauma, increasing the number of people CVT can serve and creating a cadre of qualified mental health paraprofessionals in communities that had previously had no mental health services. Paraprofessionals perform many of the tasks of professionals, but within a system of supervision.

For more information on this tactic, read our in-depth case study.

Creating space to legitimize and dignify the personal experiences of victims

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Peru is one of the most recent experiences of transitional justice, institutionalized with the aim of exploring the truth hidden behind a past characterized by massive abuse of human rights. One of the central activities in this process is the Public Audiences, created with the aim of legitimizing and dignifying the personal experiences of the victims in order to support the therapeutic and recuperative work on their behalf.

For more information on this tactic, read our in-depth case study.

Coordinating efforts to preserve archival information among several organizations and creating a system for accessing it

Memoria Abierta has created a system to make accessible all public archives of documents, photographs and interviews that testify to the horrors of state terrorism in Argentina, its victims and the people who stood against it. While anyone with Internet access can search the online catalog of the files, the actual materials remain in the offices of each member organization or in Memoria Abierta’s office. The database provides a single index of all materials, easily searchable by any user.

For more information on this tactic, read our in-depth case study.

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