Everyday sites of violence and conflict: Exploring memories in Mosul and Tel Afar
In light of growing concerns over the positioning and sustainability of effective peacebuilding efforts in Iraq, this research explores the notion that within a post-conflict environment, there is an important social and political layer of everyday life, which is relatively unnoticed by the peacebuilding establishment engaged in reconciliation and social cohesion processes.
This research had three objectives. The first was to conduct an analysis of Iraq’s post-conflict modes of memorialization. The second, to develop programming and provide training to broaden IOM staff awareness of memory, its fragility and how it might be taken into consideration whilst working in areas where local people attempt to address traumas that impede social cohesion – in communities that have experienced conflict, grave human rights abuses and displacement. The third was to identify, analyse and document ordinary ‘places and spaces’ imbued with memories of violence; sites that, before the war, were used to facilitate day-to-day life and support communities. These spaces include schools, shops, shrines, markets and businesses, among others. They are everyday buildings that are now synonymous with violence and require validation, acknowledgment and recognition as part of a balanced hybrid approach to memorialization and reconciliation.