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Narrated Injustice
Compensation Claims and Transgenerational Narratives of Injustice


Acknowledging historical injustice has become a major issue in a changing Europe since the End of the Cold War, but also worldwide, visible when the UN proclaimed 2009 the International Year of Reconciliation. Payments made by states to victims of historical injustice have become a common political practice, however, we still know little about how compensation desires are re-narrated across the generations, and how media and public debates shape those narratives of injustice.
In the Netherlands one can study exemplarily how European post-war and post-colonial memories affected each other in the last decade and developed into a new form of claim culture. Therefore this project looks at two Dutch case studies, the payments made to Dutch Jewish victims since 2000 and how these payments became a reference-point for present (post-colonial) claims from descendants of former slaves, Surinamese and Dutch Antilleans. Analyzing both case studies in a comparative set-up will contribute to the understanding of the imaginations linked to such payments in the postmemory generation, to explore the multidirectionality of memory, and to specify the role of culture in such narratives of injustice.
This project will be hosted in the research program on Understanding the Age of Transitional Justice: Narratives in a Historical Perspective at the NIOD, which will allow the Fellow to relate insights from Holocaust-research to present debates on post-colonial legacies, which will contribute to reflection upon Europe’s multiple identities. By getting involved in a vigorous network, discussing issues of transitional justice and memory from an interdisciplinary, transnational, and comparative approach, this fellowship will be of major importance for the Fellow’s development in terms of knowledge-transfer, creating new networks and leadership skills.

Call for proposal

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Kloveniersburgwal 29 Het Trippenhuis
1011 JV Amsterdam
Activity type
EU contribution
€ 175 974,60
Administrative Contact
Peter Romijn (Prof.)