Exiled to Nowhere: A Symposium on the Rohingya Crisis brings together survivors, activists, and internationally renowned experts to foster a better understanding of the crisis and explore possible paths forward. The symposium will be centered on the photography exhibit Exiled to Nowhere by documentary photographer Greg Constantine, on view at the Oregon Historical Society, April 5 – April 11, 2019. This exhibit documents not only the plight of the Rohingya and how the tactics taken over time have led to the near destruction of this community, but also shows how, in spite of all that has been done to destroy them, the Rohingya continue to find a way to survive and persevere regardless of the ground beneath their feet.
Events are free and open to the public, no registration is required. Events take place, unless otherwise noted, at Oregon Historical Society (1200 SW Park Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97205)
Friday, April 5, 12pm – 1:30pm
Bearing Witness: Documenting Genocide and Mass Atrocities
Panel discussion with Greg Constantine, Andrew Stanbridge, Elizabeth Mehren, John Rudoff, and Jim Lommasson
Photographer Greg Constantine, author of the Exiled to Nowhere book and exhibit, is joined by local photographers Andrew Stanbridge, Jim Lommasson, John Rudoff, and Elizabeth Mehren to discuss their experiences and ongoing work documenting personal histories of mass atrocities. In addition to their extensive experience, focus will be placed on the Rohingya crisis documented in the current exhibit. Moderated by Tim DuRoche, director of programs for WorldOregon.
Saturday, April 6, 12pm – 1:30pm
Stories of Survival: A Conversation on Genocide, Past and Present
Panel discussion with Rosalyn Kliot, Sivheng Ung, Samir Mustafic, and Bonus Kayumba
What is genocide? How does it start, and what do different genocides have in common? Not every step that leads to genocide is obviously evil. Survivors of the Holocaust, as well as the Rwandan, Cambodian, and Bosnian genocides, discuss their own experiences and share their reflections on the current Rohingya crisis. As different experiences are shared, an overarching pattern becomes evident, giving hope that the pattern can be recognized and interrupted in order to prevent future genocide from occurring. Moderated by Tim DuRoche, director of programs for WorldOregon.
Saturday, April 6, 2pm – 3:30pm
In-depth Discussion about the Rohingya Crisis
Presented by Yusuf Iqbal, Greg Constantine, Shwe Maung, and Reza Uddin
The Rohingya crisis is ongoing, but few are aware of it beyond brief and disconnected news headlines. To give background and context to this crisis, panelists, including former Burma MP Shwe Maung, Yusuf Iqbal of Americans for Rohingya, Reza Uddin of Friends of Rohingya USA, and photographer Greg Constantine, discuss Burma’s carefully planned genocide of the Rohingya as well as the current situation for Rohingya living within and outside Burma.
Saturday, April 6, 4pm – 5pm
A Path to Justice: Examining the Legal Challenges of the Rohingya Crisis
Presented by Kyle Wood and Allen Borrelli
The Rohingya face unique challenges in seeking justice and accountability for the crimes committed against them. This panel includes investigators of two, separate fact-finding missions to investigate atrocities against the Rohingya in Myanmar. Kyle Wood was part of a human rights law group contracted with the U.S. State Department (which created this report) and Al Borrelli was part of the UN fact-finding mission on Myanmar.
Sunday, April 7, 2pm – 3:30pm
Sexual and Gender Based Violence: The Case of Rohingya Women and Girls
Presented by Aerlyn Pfeil and Dr. Gwen Vogel Mitchell
Portland State University Smith Memorial Student Union, Room 333
(1825 SW Broadway, Portland, Oregon 97201)
Dr. Gwen Mitchell and Aerlyn Pfeil discuss their experiences working with Rohingya women and the impact of sexual violence in conflict environments. The conversation will examine obstacles Rohingya women and girls face in seeking justice, accountability, and protection given their current status as stateless people. They will also go into the impacts that these experiences will have for generations to come and the positive role Rohingya women have as providers of support, hope, healing and resilience within their communities.
Thursday, May 9, 6pm – 8pm
The More Who Die the Less We Care: Confronting Genocide and the Deadly Arithmetic of Compassion
Presented by Paul Slovic
Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education (724 NW Davis Street, Portland, Oregon 97209)
Most people are caring and will make an effort to assist individuals in need. These same good people, however, often become numbly indifferent when the victims are part of a large group seeking help. Why does this occur? The answer to this question will help us answer a related question that is the topic of this talk with Professor Paul Slovic: Why have good people and their governments repeatedly ignored mass murder and genocide, and how can insights from psychological research provide useful guidance to address this problem?
Paul Slovic is a professor of psychology at the University of Oregon and a founder and president of Decision Research. He holds a B.A. from Stanford University (1959) and an M.A (1962) and Ph.D. (1964) from the University of Michigan. He studies human judgment, decision making, and the psychology of risk. With colleagues worldwide, he has developed methods to describe risk perceptions and measure their impacts on individuals and society. His most recent work examines "psychic numbing" and the failure to respond to mass human tragedies.
Exiled to Nowhere: A Symposium on the Rohingya Crisis is generously cosponsored by:
Never Again Coalition
Americans for Rohingya
The Immigrant Story
Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education
Holocaust and Genocide Studies Project at Portland State University
Lewis and Clark Law School’s Crime Victims’ Rights Alliance
American Jewish World Service
Friends of Rohingya USA
Eric and Alia Breon
Exiled to Nowhere: A Symposium on the Rohingya Crisis
1200 SW Park Ave
Portland, OR 97205
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