Created as the result of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation (AIPR) and the Department of Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Keene State College (KSC), the KSC-AIPR Global Fellowship program offers an all-expenses paid fellowship opportunity at to members of AIPR’s international alumni community of atrocity prevention professionals. KSC-AIPR Global Fellows spend a semester at KSC, immersing themselves in life on campus. Fellows work closely with Keene’s Holocaust and Genocide Studies Department faculty, including AIPR’s Director of Academic Programs Dr. James Waller and Academic Programs Officer for Africa Dr. Ashley Greene.
Last autumn, AIPR and KSC welcomed Mr. Hikmet Karcic to campus as the inaugural Global Fellow. Mr. Karcic is a researcher based at the Institute for the Islamic Tradition of Bosniaks and the International University of Sarajevo. Karcic took advantage of the opportunity provided by the Global Fellowship to work with members of the Cohen Center at Keene to advance work on his dissertation, which focuses on the use of concentration camps during the Bosnian genocide of the early/mid 1990s. In the summer of 2018, he successfully defended his doctoral dissertation entitled “Detention Camps as a Tool for Ethno-Religious Cleansing of Non-Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina.”
This year, Ms. Patricia Fernanda Perez Valdes has taken up residence in New Hampshire as the 2018 KSC-AIPR Global Fellow. Ms. Valdes, who attended the 2014 Global Lemkin Seminar in Poland and 2015 Raphael Lemkin Seminar for the Latin American Network in Chile, comes to the Fellowship from Museum of Memory and Human Rights in Santiago. The Museum of Memory and Human Rights works to give visibility to the grave violations of human rights committed by the Chilean State between 1973 and 1990, preserve the dignity of the victims and their families, and inspire reflection and discussion on the importance of respect and tolerance in preventing the repetition of these violations.
At the Museum, she is responsible for a variety of duties including those related to teaching, research, and mediation with a focus on the themes of education, human rights, art, memory, and transitional justice. She explains that, during her semester at Keene State:
The utilization of a comparative approach between the Holocaust and military dictatorships in Latin America will provide me with new ideas to augment the process of constructing memory in Chile. As a result, I hope that I will be able to develop new tools to build a program of human rights education with institutions that are important to our countries in the region, such as the police and armed forces. I’m sure that this knowledge is one of the most valuable things I will bring to Chile and to the Museum of Memory and Human Rights.
“For now,” she says, “I can say that I’m so happy to be at Keene. It’s such a beautiful city and the college community has been so nice and welcoming to me. I feel very honored and grateful for that. They make me feel at home.”