Virtual Book Reading
Virtual Exchange | Public
Join the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience to celebrate the launch of “We Are Present: Women’s Histories of Conflict, Courage, and Survival,” our latest virtual publication. Sarah Case, Deputy Program Director at the Global Transitional Justice Initiative, will host a conversation with the book’s editor, Radhika Hettiarachchi, and facilitate questions from attendees.
WE ARE PRESENT: WOMEN’S HISTORIES OF CONFLICT, COURAGE, AND SURVIVAL
We are Present: Women’s Histories of Conflict, Courage and Survival is a collection of women’s experiences of conflict and its impact in Sri Lanka. The narratives, self-written through visual story-telling methodologies, are interspersed with essays by women writers. The book shines a light on the historical threads that tie women’s war experiences to the contemporary challenges women face in post-war Sri Lanka – experiences and challenges that will resonate with many communities throughout the world. In doing so, We Are Present serves as a tool for public discourse on why women’s histories matter and why they must occupy a nexus between history, memorialization, and justice, particularly for those transitioning from a context of war to peace.
About the Editor
Radhika Hettiarachchi is a researcher, curator, and peacebuilding practitioner working on oral history and memory, socio-economic stability, conflict transformation, and peacebuilding, with over 16 years of experience working in Sri Lanka. In partnership with the Viluthu Centre (2012-2014), Hettiarachchi designed “Herstories,” a virtual collection of 285 oral histories of war-affected women from Sri Lanka, and the first women’s oral history collection to be archived at the National Archives of Sri Lanka. Hettiarachchi also conceptualized and co-founded the “Community Memorialization Project” (2015-2019), which archives people’s lived experiences of conflict to inspire facilitated dialogue, especially intergenerational dialogue, with the goal of creating empathy and strengthening community resilience for non-recurrence of violent conflict. In 2021, with support from the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience, Hettiarachchi curated “Shared Journeys,” a regional exhibition across seven countries in Asia that challenges dominant narratives of power by showcasing hidden, lost, or marginalized histories. She has worked at UNDP, International Alert, and Search for Common Ground on development and peacebuilding, as well as holds a Masters in Development Management from the London School of Economics and Political Science.