Reconciling with our own past – exploring the Greek Civil War through photographic, film and witness evidence

Core features of the practice

  • Organisation:

    Institution name: National Reconciliation Park
    Institution type: Museum
    Institution URL:
  • Format:

    Guided tour, Extra-mural site visit, Exhibition
  • Target population:

    Students, General public/non-specialist audience
  • Cost (per practice):

  • Setting:

    Your institution
  • Themes:

    Remembrance education and/or history education
  • Core activities:

    Film viewing, Slide presentation, Other

Additional information about the practice

    Target population

  • Number of participants:

    Not applicable
  • Age of target population:

  • Additional specifics:

    Other:, All who are interested in Greek history
  • Components of the practice

  • Topics and objectives:

    Objective: to allow visitors to reflect on how studying history is essential to understanding today’s reality. The largest part of the tour takes place in the event hall where visitors view selected photographs from the Historical Photographs exhibition on a projector screen. The tour presents the historical framework of the photographs and focuses on the main events of modern Greek history -(Macedonian Struggle, Balkan Wars, First World War, Refugee Issues, The Interwar Period, The Nazi Occupation, the Civil War. Prior to this, visitors are shown the surrounding mountains and are told about the battles fought there and how the area is linked to the Civil War. Here we reflect on the past and on how it shapes the present and encourage visitors to consider how the study of history is essential understanding today’s reality. The other main set of exhibits focusses on the Greek Civil War and how it affected Greek society and the individual. Being a collective wound for Greek society, visitors can come to understand the civil war through logic and critical thinking, not with the intention to judge and condemn, but to try to understand why killings and hatred happened. Reconciliation involves understanding the past without reproducing the hatred caused by the events of the 1940s and the realisation that people always have different interests, needs, views and perceptions. Respecting different views is the basis of creative argumentation, which will contribute to the construction of a better present for all through dialogue (view-opposition-composition).
  • Materials used:

    Audiovisual material
  • Material produced:

    Not applicable
  • Sequence of activities - methodology:

    We start with a short documentary that has been produced by the Hellenic Parliament Foundation for the visitors to the National Reconciliation Park, which includes images from the relevant periods. The visual input allows the visitor to get a better sense of how things were. After watching the 15-minute video, the guided tour begins (The Macedonian Struggle, The Balkan Wars, First World War, Refugee Issues, The Interwar Period, The Nazi Occupation, The Civil War) so that visitors are prepared when we go down to the photograph exhibition. Before moving on to the exhibition, I show visitors the surrounding mountains and tell them about the battles that were fought on them and how the Grammos Mountain is linked to the events of the Civil War. If visitors are keen, we go for a short walk through the forest to visit a monument near the Park.
  • Length of activity:

    Up to 5 hours
  • Is the activity digital?:

  • Accessibility and replicability

  • Language(s) in which activity can be delivered:

    English, Greek
  • Is specialist knowledge or professional training required?:

  • If yes, which type?:

    Remembrance, history, or museum education

Qualitative Details

  • Has this practice been evaluated?

  • How many times?:

  • By whom?:

  • By what means?:

    Informal verbal feedback
  • Core content knowledge and transferable skills:

    Critical understanding of history
  • Indicators of success:

    Demand for repetition
  • Educational coordinator contact details:

    Name: Raymondos Alvanos
    Email address:


The RETHINK project is concerned with bridging formal and informal education. This section explores the factors that make a practice adaptable.

  • Key factors for successful implementation:

    Subject expertise of presenter/instructor
  • Main challenges to teachers adapting this practice for their students:

  • Availability of guidance/training/replication materials (and in what language/format currently):

    Greek. Available only at the museum
  • Other comments or details:

    The activity is suitable for all ages from age 6 upwards, not only for the age group indicated in question 10.