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Conservation and mediation of personal testimony

Here you can read about the project's background and purpose, about what the films show, and about the narrators.

Person sits and talks and gestures. Two people appear in the foreground.
Harald Føsker, survivor of the Government quarter, during the teaching program "My story: Personal stories from and about 22 July"

Background and purpose

"My Story - Personal testimonies from and about 22 July" is an educational programme and documentary project at The 22 July Centre. Several survivors and relatives have told their stories in the media and in biographies. Others have expressed a desire to share their experiences without finding any opportunity to do so. This project highlights the stories of people who experienced 22 July 2011 up close in different ways, and places them in a broader context.

Since 2017, the 22 July Centre has being granted State Budget funding to develop a new teaching program centred on witness testimonies. Since the start of the spring semester in 2018, we have offered every Friday a program for school classes titled "My Story - Personal testimonies from and about 22 July". At the same time, we gradually started collecting witness testimonies in the form of video recordings, texts and other contributions. Going forward, we hope to gather a broader range of personal testimonies, which can include both existing materials and new video recordings, audio recordings and images.

Through the collection of different types of witness testimonies, we hope in the long term to be able to showcase the diversity of stories about the events that unfolded on 22 July as well as interpretations of the impact of terrorism.

A group of young people sitting on white chairs in a circle.
A school class during the education program "My story: stories from and about 22 July".

Why personal testimonies?

Through witness accounts, we meet the people behind the facts and figures about this historic event. The stories they tell are valuable both because they provide insight into what happened and how the terror attack impacted individuals and communities, but also because they remind us that it all actually happened.

The personal testimonies can facilitate discussion and reflection on terrorism and related topics, and touch on a multitude of issues that span from radicalisation, political engagement, democracy and security, to mental health and the use of history.

In the autumn of 2017, the first pupils who were not yet born on July 22 2011, started school. In the future, the stories of those who were there will play an even more important role in understanding what happened. Those affected will always cany their unique stories from the attacks, but an important purpose of both the teaching and documentation in "My Story - Personal testimonies from and about July 22" is to create a sense of closeness to these stories which allows the students themselves to reflect on and create their own experiences in connection with the terror attack.

About the program

  • 3 hours of teaching in the 22 July Centre
  • The students meet witnesses and hear stories about the time before, during and after the attacks
  • The class is engaged through reflection tasks and group work
  • The program facilitates dialogue between students and witnesses

NB: This educational program is only offered on Fridays.

Educational program "My story"

As part of the "My Story - Personal accounts from and about 22 July" outreach programme we invite school classes to meet with witnesses who share their accounts from and about July 22, 2011. The three-hour programme gives students assignments and group work to reflect on 22 July through stories from and engagement with people who experienced the terror attack up close in different ways.

Meetings between witnesses and school classes are a meaningful way to mediate accounts from 22 July. By listening to the victims' stories, and by engaging in dialog with witnesses, the students get also the opportunity to be agents in our collective memory processes and in the deployment of the public, democratic conversation about 22 July.

Personal accounts can facilitate discussion and reflection around terror and related topics, and bring to the conversation a multitude of issues that span from radicalisation, political involvement, democracy and security, to mental health and the use of history.