2020 marks the 9th year of the AHDA fellowship program. Since 2012, the fellowship has hosted 96 fellows who represent over 47 countries and territories. Below please find information regarding the professional interests and accomplishments of fellows and alumni. While at Columbia, fellows design individual projects that address some aspect of a history of gross human rights violations in their society, country, and/or region.
Click here to read more about the fellows' projects.
Click here to read about more about the work of our Fellows.
Dilpreet Bhullar is a writer-researcher based in New Delhi, India. She has an MPhil from the University of Delhi in Comparative Literature with a dissertation entitled “Mapping Colonial Gazing(s): A Study of the People of India (1868–75)”. Her research work delves into the concept of memory in the (post) conflict area, and explores photography as a tool to document the alternate history. Her essays on visual sociology, identity politics and refugee studies have been published in books, journals and magazines including Designing (Post) Colonial Knowledge: Imagining South Asia (Routledge), The Third Text (Routledge), South Asian Popular Culture (Routledge), Indian Journal of Human Development (Sage Publications), Himal Southasian, and the digital archive www.criticalcollective.in, to name a few. She is currently the associate editor of the India Habitat theme-based journal on visual arts, published by India Habitat Centre.
Catherine Kennedy is an archival activist and civil society consultant from South Africa. Since 2018, she has managed the Constitutional Court Trust, a non-profit organisation that exists to promote human rights, the rule of law, constitutionalism and judicial independence in the African region - with a special focus on the Constitutional Court of South Africa. She also currently consults for the Javett Foundation, a philanthropic foundation with a focus on education, culture and the arts, and a human rights organisation in Zimbabwe. From 2009 – 2016, she was the Director of the South African History Archive (SAHA), an independent human rights archive with a special focus on the records of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). She has been a board member of GALA, a queer activist archive, since 2009, and recently joined the board of the Javett Art Centre at the University of Pretoria. Over the last decade, she has also provided short-term archival consultancy and training in various conflict and post-conflict contexts internationally in support of dealing with the past initiatives.
Kaltrina Krasniqi is an award winning Kosovo based film director and researcher working in film, television and digital humanities since the early 2000s. She is a founding member of the Kosovo Oral History Initiative – a digital archive where personal histories of individuals from various paths of life are recorded and published, and she is a co-founder of the popular Prishtina café-bookshop Dit’ e Nat’ which is a non formal setting for promotion of film, literature and music. She graduated with a degree in Film Directing from the University of Prishtina in 2004 and in 2011 completed her MA at Kosovo’s Institute for Journalism and Communication. In 2015, she continued her professional development at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) with a focus in Film Producing. Her last film Sarabande (2018) premiered at ZagrebDox, was awarded Best Documentary from the Cinalfama Film Festival and was a nominee in the short documentary competition at Camerimage Festival 2018. Currently, she is producing her first feature film, “Vera Dreams of the Sea”.
Simon K. Li is the Executive Director of the Hong Kong Holocaust and Tolerance Centre. He has researched and taught about upstanders and the broad category of bystanders for a variety of organizations including the Anne Frank House (The Netherlands), Facing History and Ourselves (USA), Yad Vashem (Israel), Taipei Women’s Rescue Foundation (Taiwan), the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum (China), and the Red Cross (Hong Kong). His doctoral research examines ordinary citizens’ use of private probes as strategic resistance against bureaucratic cover-ups. In addition to these academic pursuits, he is the co-host of a weekly Cantonese-language history radio program on historical archives and declassified records with the former Director of the Government Records Service of Hong Kong. Previously an investigative journalist and broadcaster, he was a summer host of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s flagship morning current affairs radio program The Current. As a Historical Dialogue & Accountability Fellow at Columbia University’s Institute for the Study of Human Rights, Simon will be investigating the forgotten Chinese victims in the Holocaust, in the hope of uncovering their buried World War II history and contributing to making sure that this memory does not die.
James Miles is a PhD candidate and sessional instructor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. He also works as a curriculum resource writer for The Critical Thinking Consortium (TC2). James previously taught high school social studies and history in Vancouver, BC. His doctoral dissertation examines the teaching and learning of historical injustices in classrooms, museums, and historic sites. His research has been published in Theory and Research in Social Education, Historical Studies in Education, and the International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education. James has also co-written several social studies textbooks, teacher resource books, and online guides for supporting teachers and students to develop their ability to think historically and critically about historical injustices.
Growing up in Gulu, northern Uganda, Francis Nono’s entire childhood and adolescence were profoundly shaped by the Lord’s Resistance Army – Government of Uganda conflict that afflicted the entire region. In his current role managing the National Memory and Peace Documentation Center (NMPDC) of the Refugee Law Project, School of Law, Makerere University, he is at the center of Uganda’s post-conflict memory and memorialization work and a key player in how this relates to the national transitional justice process. He coordinates the NMPDC’s community and stakeholder engagements; spearheads support of memorialization processes like holding annual memorial prayers, documentation of past conflict events, community documentary screenings to catalyze public debates on transitional justice discourse; leads on artifact collection and museum development; and leads in curating both permanent and travelling testimonies/mobile exhibitions across conflict-affected areas in Uganda.
Mbasekei Martin Obono is a human rights lawyer and advocate. He received his legal education from the University of Buckingham, United Kingdom and Nigerian Law school. Currently, he is the Executive Director of Tap iNitiative for Citizens Development, based in Nigeria, and has pursued an Executive Programme with a focus on Expanding Impacts for NGOs and Public Institutions from Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He is passionate about civil and political rights and young people’s participation in governance. He is also fervent about historical conversations that lead to healing and reconciliation of communities that have suffered violence by state actors. Obono’s recent passion involves designing an online pictorial database that preserves and documents State sponsored massacres and atrocities in Nigeria, since independence in 1960. He is currently on the advisory board of Amnesty International, Nigeria.
Since 2017, Johann has been working for HistoricalDialogue.lk; a project implemented by the German Development Cooperation where he oversees and coordinates multiple initiatives aimed at forging a culture of historical dialogue and memory in Sri Lanka. A few such initiatives are the Memory Walks; guided tours of neighborhoods aimed at discussing politico- historical narratives and the traveling museum; ‘It’s About Time’ designed to offer alternate and plural narratives of the island’s history. Having witnessed the historical and contemporary trend of using identity as a political weapon, and sporadic eruptions of ethno-religious tensions, he is personally and professionally committed to developing organic approaches of dialogue, critical thinking and historical perspective. In 2018 he was selected to participate in the Truth, Justice and Remembrance seminar organized by the Bosch Stiftung. Johann has a Masters in Sociology of Education and B.A in Sociology. As an AHDA fellow his objective is twofold- first to sharpen his understanding of the archive as a political tool towards truth-telling and multiple narratives and second to develop a radio programme that invites multiple voices to express their authentic views and engage in dialogue.
Thaís Rosa Pinheiro is a researcher and founder of Conectando Territórios, a travel agency that brings education and connects people to Afro-Brazilian history, culture, traditional and urban communities, with the aim of creating dialogue, breaking stereotypes and prejudices. Thais leads guided tours in the Little Africa region of Rio de Janeiro and open discussions about the uncovered African slavery history of heritage sites, such as Valongo Wharf. She organizes international dialogue events connecting the African diaspora and different ethnic groups. Thaís has a Master’s degree in Social Memory from the Federal University State of Rio de Janeiro, Certificate in Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution (Chulalongkorn University, Rotary Peace Alumna), Specialist in African and Afro- Brazilian History (FACHA) and is a Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) alumna. For more than 7 years she has been researching quilombola communities, ethnic boundaries and community-based tourism in Brazil. Her works span from projects in cultural heritage to creativity and vídeos. Her main fields of interest are cultural studies, education, dialogue, international cooperation, implementation and evaluation of public policies.
Marija Ristic is an award-winning investigative journalist and regional director of Balkan Investigative Reporting Network. She is in charge of editorial, training, operations and development aspects of the BIRN Network. She started her career as a journalist focusing on topics related to facing the past, reconciliation and transitional justice before beginning her current work with BIRN’s Balkan Transitional Justice Initiative. In 2015, she produced the documentary ‘The Unidentified’ about war crimes in Kosovo. Ristic is a graduate of the Geneva Academy for International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights and a former fellow at the Free University in Berlin.
Tendaishe Tlou works as the Transitional Justice Advocacy Specialist for the National Transitional Justice Working Group based in Harare, Zimbabwe. Among many, he holds post-graduate certificates in Inclusive Gender in Transitional Justice and Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Elections (BRIDGE); Transitional Justice, Applied Conflict Transformation and Community Development from the Refugee Law Project (Uganda); and the International Citizen Service Volunteer Certificate (the UK). He also has a BSc (Hons) degree in Peace and Governance, centered on political and socio-economic issues, from Bindura University (Zimbabwe), and a Masters’ in Human Rights, Peace and Development from Africa University (Zimbabwe). In addition to his degrees, Tendaishe has written and published over 30 academic articles.
Milena Duran is a lecturer and scholar of history who focuses on recent history and memory. Since 2010, she is part of Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo (Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo), a non-governmental organization that searches for the children - today adults - that were kidnapped and appropriated during the last military dictatorship in Argentina. As a member of the Educational Team of The Identity House of Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo, the museum of the organization, she plans and carries out educational workshops for elementary, high school, and university students in order to reach younger generations with Grandmothers’ cause, raise awareness, and promote human rights and memory. She also works as an interviewer, researcher, and archivist at the Grandmothers’ Family Biographical Archive, oral history archive on the life stories of the disappeared, parents of the appropriated children. There, she conducts interviews with fellows, friends, and family of the victims. At the same time, Milena teaches history classes in high school and in teacher courses.