A De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) academic is raising awareness of genocide and tackling hatred and intolerance in the community.
Kim Sadique, Acting Head of Community and Criminal Justice Division, took part in a transformative visit to Bosnia after being named a Community Champion by Remembering Srebrenica, a charitable initiative which promotes remembrance of the mass genocide of Bosnian Muslims in 1995.
Remembering Srebrenica funded a visit to Bosnia in May and Kim was given a tour of the city of Sarajevo, met with representatives from the Association of Women Victims of War and the Mothers of Srebrenica and went to the Forensic Identification Centre in Tuzla.
More than 8,000 people, mostly men and boys, were killed in the town of Srebrenica by Ratko Mladic’s army during the Bosnian genocide in 1995.
Kim was nominated to be a Community Champion by Reverend Tom Wilson, Director of St Philip’s Centre for Multi-Faith Engagement in Leicester, and has pledged to put the experience to good use by including it in her teaching and research at DMU and in the work she does with Leicestershire Police on their Hate Crime Scrutiny Panel.
She explained: “Part of my pledge was to build this into my module on Religion, Faith & Crime. I’ll now ensure that there is a genocide element, particularly focusing on religious intolerance as a driver to genocide.”
Kim, who won a national award for tackling hatred and prejudice last year, will also be organising a number of commemorative events on DMU’s campus which will act as further opportunities to educate people about the genocide. The first event will be on 11th July, Srebrenica Memorial Day and will be a ‘Lunch and Learn’ event.
Kim visited the Potočari Cemetery in Srebrenica
Kim added: “I am also collaborating with colleagues in our Media School in organising a Documentary Film Festival to be held at DMU in November. One of the days will focus on genocide.
"The plan is to have some originally composed music commemorating the genocide in Bosnia with live singers and photographs from my trip running with the music.
"There will also be a documentary about genocide and a panel discussion about human rights atrocities that have happened in places like Bosnia, Cambodia, Rwanda and Poland”
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Kim’s research focuses on how visits to places of human rights abuses and state crime such as Srebrenica and Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial Museum, Poland, can provide a transformative learning experience for students and she says that visiting Bosnia made her ‘want to share the narratives of survivors’ and educate students about the 10 Stages of Genocide.
“Over the last eighteen months my research has included interviews with 21 students who went on #DMUglobal trips to Auschwitz-Birkenau led by staff in CCJ Division. I have also interviewed guides/educators from Bosnia and the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial Museum about their guiding methodology.
“For me going to Bosnia has galvanised me to want to do more”, she said, “Its about having an impact in the community in which I live and work.
“A recent survey showed that just under 80% of young people couldn’t name another genocide apart from the Holocaust. For me that was really shocking. This isn’t history, the genocide in Bosnia happened within my lifetime and the recovery from that process is still happening now."
DMU is renowned for its community work and is currently leading a global network of universities helping refugees as part of the UN’s #JoinTogether campaign. And Kim believes that her work is a perfect fit for the university’s ethos.
She added: “With our work with refugees and migrants, particularly the #JoinTogether campaign and with Baroness Lawrence, such an inspiring campaigner, being our Chancellor, I believe my work fits really well with DMU’s values. It feels like I’m in the right place and doing the right job.”
Posted on Friday 29th June 2018