The Flemish Peace Institute is an independent
institute for peace research at the Flemish Parliament.

Commemoration and remembrance

Memories of wars and political violence continue to deeply move us, long after the occurrence of these events. Violent conflicts create deep divides and rifts, between states and groups of people. These fault lines continue to exist for many years in the commemoration of wars. A violent past thus has the potential to fuel new violence in the presence. On the other hand, the memory of violence may also inspire societies to avoid wars and violent conflicts. Commemorations contribute to strengthening a practice of peace and achieving peaceful coexistence. Whichever way societies choose to commemorate and remember the violent past, they continue to grapple with this past for a long time, as time goes by. 

So how do we deal with painful episodes in our history? Can we learn from the violent past? How can remembrance and commemoration contribute to peace education and civic education? These questions constitute the starting premise of the Flemish Peace Institute’s research on remembrance and commemoration. In the past, the institute has evaluated the key players on the Flemish commemoration landscape. We also examined how war commemorations can contribute to strengthening the idea of peace. In addition to this, we also map how to shape remembrance education in practice. And finally, we committed to fuel the debate on the commemoration of World War I with the annual 11 November Lecture, in cooperation with the City of Ypres and the In Flanders Fields Museum.