Our Story

The project on Contested Histories in Public Spaces is a co-initiative of EuroClio, the European Association of History Educators, and the Institute for Historical Justice and Reconciliation (IHJR). The research examines contestations over statues, monuments, memorials, street names, buildings and other physical representations of historical legacies in public spaces. The result is an expanding global catalogue of case studies that aims to provide a resource for policy-makers, decision-makers, educators, journalists, scholars and others interested in the subject of contested histories in public spaces. Outputs include policy recommendations, educational materials and published papers. The programme is supported, in part, by the European Union.

May 2016
IHJR

IHJR

Institute for Historical Justice and Reconciliation, founded in 2004 at the Salzburg Global Seminar, becomes independent in 2008 and in 2016 moves headquarters to EuroClio’s Office in The Hague.

June 2016
People seated and walking around Rhodes House Hall, Oxford

A Conversation at Oxford

In the wake of #RhodesMustFall (RMF) at the University of Cape Town in 2015, and in the midst of RMF at Oxford in Spring 2016, a conversation with the Warden at Rhodes House raised the question, who else is facing similar challenges?

June 2017
Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies Harvard logo

Welcomed First Interns from Harvard University

July 2017
First Discussions with the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities (HCNM)

First Discussions with the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities (HCNM)

Discussions focused on the need for a neutral platform for various stakeholders addressing contested histories. First case studies researched and template designed for case studies.

December 2017
University of Oxford Logo, white text on navy blue background

Oxford Internship Programme launched

March 2018

A landmark month

Welcomed First Interns from Erasmus University Rotterdam; 

Prototype for the map designed;

First expert meeting with OSCE HCNM;

First Contested Histories Symposium at All Souls College, University of Oxford

June 2018

First Occasional Paper published

Thinking About Historical Legacies: Looking for Just Principles and Processes

By Charles R. Conn
March 2019
International Task Force meets in Paris

International Task Force meets in Paris

First 25 cases presented; decision taken to publish a book of ten cases in cooperation with the International Bar Association and Salzburg Global Seminar

March 2019
OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities addresses the room at the Contested Histories symposium at All Soul's College, Oxford, in 2019.

International Task Force meets at All Souls College

With OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities Lamberto Zannier as keynote speaker

July 2019

Cases List has 100 cases on 5 continents

October 2019
Group photo taken at the Facing History and Ourselves 2019 Summit in South Africa.

Contested Histories Workshop in South Africa

The project and case of Edward Colston in Bristol was presented at Facing History and Ourselves’ Global Summit

June 2020

Cases List surpasses 200

Sparked by the death of George Floyd and Black Lives Matter demonstrations, disputes over statues, monuments, street names accelerate – catalogue has more than 200 cases by summer’s end

February 2021
Contested Histories Onsite project logo

Onsite Project launched

In partnership with the Memory Studies Association, and support from the EU’s Europe for Citizens programme, the Contested Histories Onsite project launches

February 2021
Navy blue book cover with white lettering and image of protestors surrounding a statue of Winston Churchill in London, UK.

Contested Histories in Public Spaces: Principles, Processes, Best Practices

The International Bar Association published a volume of ten case studies from around the globe and recommendations by the Task Force for decision-makers, educators and other stakeholders.

May 2021
ESRI logo

Development of digital map with ArcGIS software

December 2021
First Meeting of the Contested Histories Education Task Force

First Meeting of the Contested Histories Education Task Force

The first educational task force meets in Lyon, France to brainstorm how to translate the case studies into Educational Material.

March 2022
African Changemakers Launches

African Changemakers Launches

The new project, African Changemakers starts work and Post-Doc Maria Ambrozy begins to work on translating African Case Studies into educational material.

June 2022

Case List Exceeds 500

July 2022

50 Cases Published

July 2022
The Early Atlantic Slave Trade in Portugal A Digital Archive of Contested Legacies Starts FIlming

The Early Atlantic Slave Trade in Portugal A Digital Archive of Contested Legacies Starts FIlming

The Digital Archive team for Contested Legacies arrives in Portugal and begins filming and gathering material for the Digital Archive on the Early Atlantic Slave Trade in Portugal.

July 2021

Launch of contestedhistories.org

June 2021

Reached 300 Cases globally – and counting