The International Committee of Memorial and Human Rights Museums

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October 31, 2022

ICMEMO 2016 – 2022 ATTAINMENTS Projects

You can download the full report Here.

October 31, 2022 report by ICMEO Chair, Ophelia Leon, 2016-2022


We closely collaborated with various ICOM NCs, ICs, and Regional Alliances, Memorial museums all over the world, Universities, and other institutions outside ICOM:

  • ICOMAM, ICAMT, ICETHICS, ICOMUS, ICOM Slovenia, ICOM Israel, ICOM Armenia, ICOM Italy, FIHRM, Sites of Conscience, CAM, ICOM Costa Rica, ICOM LAC…
  • EUROM . IHRA . University of Exeter . University of Bucharest . University of Madrid UNED . University of Barcelona . University of Texas at Dallas, Ackerman Center for Holocaust Studies . Cabinet Office, Okinawa Affairs . TSGM-UNESCO . MoCFA: Cambodian Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts . KOICA . Lithuanian Ministry of Culture . Massuah . Yad Vashem…

It’s been an honor. OUR HEARTFELT THANKS TO ALL!

Six Annual Conferences

2016 ICOM Milan Triennial in Milan/Fossoli/Modena/Turin
2017 Cinicinnati, Ohio and Washington D.C.
2018 Tel Aviv/Jerusalem
2019 ICOM Kyoto Triennial in Kyoto/Hiroshima/Okinawa Island
2020 Yerevan, Armenia online / Covid Solidarity Webinars
2021 ICMEMO – ICETHICS online
2022 ICOM Prague Triennial in Prague and Terezin

2016 ICOM Triennial in Milan/Fossoli/Modena/Turin

Museums & Cultural Landscapes

Joint session with ICOMAM in partnership with EUROM, IMSLI, Fossoli Camp, Museo Diffuso Turin and The University of Exeter.
Focus: Dark Tourism; Memory of Dictatorships in Latin America, Eastern Europe and Post-Soviet History of Memory; Narratives and Witnesses

2017 Annual Conference Cincinnati, Ohio

Washington D.C.


Engaging Society in self-reflective Museums

In partnership with ICAMT, ICOMUS, The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Cincinnati USA Convention and Visitors Bureau, Kolar Design, Turner Const. Co., Cincinnati Art Museum

Focus: Architecture of Memorial Museums on Historical Sites and Off Site; Human Rights Struggle and Slavery in Exhibitions throughout the World; Creating innovative spaces, and recreating spaces where the narratives used for years are no longer resonant with its current visitors

2018 Annual Conference Tel Aviv / Jerusalem, Israel

Memory, Art & Identity

In partnership with ICOM Israel, Massuah IIHS, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Yad Vashem

Focus: The influence of memorial museums on shaping personal and collective memory. The intergenerational transmission of memory. How artists reflect different zeitgeists and express them visually

2019 ICOM Triennial in Kyoto, Japan

Museums as Cultural Hubs: The future of tradition

In partnership with ICOM Japan, FIHRM, Hiroshima Peace Museum

Theme: Historical Heritage and its relevance today

Focus: How museums say the unfathomable: Voices from former colonial territories of Imperial Japan.

The Presence of Absence: The void that evokes loss in spaces of remembrance and How the concept of Mu in Buddhis philosophy compares/contrasts with remembrance at Memorial Museums.

The Anne Frank House: Building Cultural Bridges from Amsterdam to Kyoto.

2020 Yerevan / Online

The Role of Museums in times of civil unrest

ICOM President, Suay Aksoy

Dr. Spencer Crew, Int. Director of the Smithsonian  National Museum of African American History & Culture

Focus: New strategies and creative solutions museums can implement in times to face challenging times.

How museums might take an active role in the creation of safe spaces for dialogue within the community in a time of social change.

2020 ICMEMO Webinar Series in response to COVID-19

Memorial Museums in the time of COVID-19:

Reflection, Response, and Creative Strategies for the future

Focus: The effects of Covid-19 on Museums worldwide. Creative, alternative means to reach our audience. Digital Strategies & Emergency Planning: Available resources

Gained solidarity or loss of liberties: How our museums might address changes wrought by the virus

Focus: Museums as institutions of influence addressing issues relevant to society. Museums as active agents in strengthening civil society.

2021 ICMEMO / ICETHICS Joint Online Conference

Political Pressure on Museum Professionals:

Controlling the narrative?

Focus: Where is the line drawn for the museum professional when torn between partisan political interests and the profession’s own standards? How can the museum community protect its standards and support its members?

2022 ICOM Prague Triennial

Focus: Memorial museums are particularly sensitive to the power of museums to create stories that in turn develop identity, as well as provide a platform for debate. They can counter balance political developments by opening their doors to global issues such as growing prejudice, discrimination, anti-Semitism, hostilities and social unrest. But also by focusing on politically sensitive historical events that are still relevant today (slavery, decolonisation, etc.). How can museums best serve their communities and play a more active role in promoting dialogue and understanding with a more inclusive, open-doors policy. How can ICMEMO offer support for museums to effectively engage with the public, to take a stand in fighting hate, to help vulnerable people and institutions in times of war?

ICMEMO & the new Museum Definition

Helping to build a transparent, participatory ICOM

Focus: ICOM Define co-chairs present the Methodology in use, why it was designed the way it was, and discuss, in-depth, the d

ifferent stages of consultation to engage all in the decision making process for the new defintiion.

Adoption of the new Museum definition received a historic 487 votes in favor at the ICOM Prague Triennial in August 2022, representing 92,41% of the vote.


BUILDING BRIDGES: Linking Memories of Past Dictatorships in Europe through Museums and Memorial Sites

University of Exeter, University of Bucharest, University of Paris/Nanterre, Arts & Humanities Research Council, ICMEMO Genocide, Memory and Peace. Phnom Penh, Cambodia Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum . ICMEMO . UNESCO . KOICA

27th – 30th August 2019

Art Workshops . Art4WomensRights . Zion Arts/ICMEMO/ICOM Nigeria

Audiovisual Workshop . Art4WomensRights Association of Nigerian Women in Spain Sponsored by A.R.T.E. and DROM Films

IHRA Auschwitz Workshop Safeguarding Sites Guidelines. IHRA/ICMEMO Charter

ICMEMO Special Projects & Missions

    • ICMEMO Task Force to Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum & Ghetto Library 2016
    • SAREC Special Project Grant Recipient 2018
    • SAREC Special Project Grant Recipient 2019
    • EUROM/University of Barcelona Conference Art4WomensRights 2018
    • YEREVAN III Global Forum on Genocide 2018
    • DAKAH, BANGLADESH Genocide Forum 2019
    • IHRA Delegation to the House of European History 2019
    • IHRA Plenary Meeting Mondorf-les-Bains 2019 and Stockholm Memorial Museum Meeting on ICOM Ukraine Solidarity 2022
    • IHRA Auschwitz Workshop . Safeguarding Sites . Charter 2022
    • Alderney 2019
    • ICOM LAC IC Capsule Project and LAC IC Forum

Genocide, Memory and Peace . Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum 27th – 30th August 2019

In partnership with Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, UNESCO and KOICA

Focus: Ethical aspects of databases; Accessibility for the (not only urban) public Representation of images from victims; Individual stories

ICMEMO Special Projects & Missions

ICMEMO Task Force

Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum

October 19-21, 2016

A task force of seven ICMEMO board members,the committee’s current chairperson and three past chairs met in Vilnius with the museum’s Director, Deputy Director for Museology and Head of History Research Department. The task force also met with government officials, namely the Vice Minister of Culture, Parliament Member and Deputy Chair of the Committee on European Affairs, Counselor of the International and EU Affairs Unit, Advisor to the Government, the Ambassador at Large, and the Head of Museums, and the Chief Officer of Museums, Libraries and Archives Cultural Policy Department.

After visiting all the pertinent sites -the Museum, The Tolerance Center, the „Green House“, the Paneriai mass killing site, The Jewish Ghetto Library building, The Jewish Community Center- the task force collected its findings and drew its recommendations.

Roundtable “Art focus on women’s rights: Nigeria”

  • The recovery and critical review of African colonial memory is a field in which activism, research, and public policies meet to formulate, from interdisciplinarity, proposals for action.
  • The objective of this debate is to explore and present different independent projects related to the African colonial memory, in order to generate a dialogue between art, audiovisual communication, academic research, and gender intersection.
  • A collaboration of the EUROM and the International Committee of Memorial Museums (ICMEMO) in the framework of the project Art focus on women’s rights: Nigeria.

Recipient of SAREC Special Project Grant

2018 & 2019


Focus: Raising consciousness about human trafficking, sex slavery and other violations of women’s rights, in Nigeria and ailleurs. Combatting stigma. Empowering girls and women

2 Workshops

2 Exhibits

A Publication

A Website

An immersive, participatory online museum

ICOM LAC Virtual Information Capsules

Joint SAREC Project

Complying with the LAC Strategic Plan Objective N° 3: To increase interregional and international cooperation and connections, ICOM LAC designed and produced a series of Virtual Information Capsules on the fundamentals, activities and orientation of the different ICOM International Committees to disseminate them among the National Committees of the LAC Network, in their social media as well as in other digital platforms.

The project aimed to attract the interest of current and future members, with small virtual programs that inform on the important work the ICs carry out through their specialization, encouraging all to take part in these solid  activities and channel the exchange of expertise.

YEREVAN Global Forum 2018

Museums and Genocide. Supporting Genocide Prevention through Perpetuation of Remembrance Days of Genocide Victims

Assumpta Mugiraneza, Dir of the Iriba Centre in Kigali, Rwanda

Piotr M. A. Cywinski, Dir of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum

Cameron Hudson, Senior Strategy Advisor at the USHMM in DC

Hans-Christian Jasch, Dir. of the House of the Wannsee

Mofidul Hoque, Trustee of the Liberation War Museum Bangladesh

Harutyun Marutyan, Dir. Armenian Genocide Museum and Institute

Ophelia Leon, Chair ICMEMO

The House of European History Holocaust Exhibit

Common delegation of ICMEMO and IHRA, the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance visit to The House of European History over two days:

Guided tours and meetings with the Director and Curators of the HoEH, analysis of the visit and report of the findings,

in willingness to cooperate in the amelioration of the Holocaust exhibit.

ICMEMO Advisory Board Member: Bruno Boyer

ICMEMO Vice President: Thomas Lutz

ICMEMO President: Ophelia Leon


A European Union project In partnership with UNED University, EUROM and other ICMEMO Members: Terezin, Guernica, Maison d’Iizieu, Fossoli Camp.

Focus: Humanitarian aid to the Civil Population in a continent at war (Europe 1914-1949)

ICMEMO Ongoing Projects


A European Union project In partnership with UNED University, EUROM and other ICMEMO Members: Guernica, Maison d’Iizieu, Fossoli Camp


A gathering of 60 second introductions by ICMEMO members


A mapping of Memorial sites and Museums worldwide, in collaboration with the Ackerman Center at the University of  Dallas.



ENHANCING COMMUNICATION WHILE COPING WITH CONFLICT: Facilitated Workshops on Capacity Building & Conflict Management for Ukrainian Museum Professionals and Culture Protection Webinars.

What’s in store for ICMEMO?

Will we embrace Human Rights Museums and incorporate them into our family?

At the ICWG, the Working Group for the Future of International Committees, one of the topics of discussion is revisiting the acronyms to make them more readily understandable…

IC-MEMOHRi, ICOM’s International Committee of Memorial & Human Rights Museums in remembrance of the victims of public crimes…  Could this be our future?


Amsterdam . 1-5 November

Living with the Memory of War

In partnership with NIOD, SMH ‘40-45, Platform WW2 and the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport

ICMEMO International Conference Netherlands

Focus: How museums address experiences of war and violence and give them valuable

Meaning for the present and in the future.

How museums in The Netherlands are  reevaluating their approach and developing new strategies for exhibition and education.