Study title
Pluralistic Memories Project (PMP)
Ref study 12876
Study language English
Contributing institutions
  • Action research
  • War and peace
  • Peacebuilding
  • Conflict transformation
  • Transitional justice
  • Armed Conflict
  • Pluralistic Memories
  • Collective and personal memories of conflicts
Data is from primary source (personal memories of people about past conflict). So the period covered by the project depends on the age of the people interviewed.
Geographical space
Burundi, Palestine, Sri-Lanka, Switzerland
  • Switzerland
  • Sri Lanka
  • Burundi
  • Palestine, State of
The Pluralistic Memories Project (PMP) has been funded in 2014 for a period of 6 years. Through a mixed methodology, PMP gathered personal memories of events related to past conflicts that happened in Burundi, Palestine and Sri Lanka, three former colonies that have been struggling with violent civil conflicts.

PMP aims to document the diversity of memories about these past conflicts, to examine the processes through which war narratives become official or fall into oblivion, and to support local researchers who study collective memories in conflict-torn societies.

The project brings together Burundian, Sri Lankan, Palestinian, Swiss and other international researchers from different scientific disciplines who are guided by a common question: Can the preservation of a plurality of living memories make communities more resilient in face of the exploitation of yesterday’s trauma by tomorrow’s warmongers?

PMP data is of multiple type. First, PMP conducted approximately 180+ semi-directive interviews. These interviews were done in the field by local PMP researchers that all shared a common thematic and methodology. Most of these interviews were then transcribed, anonymized, translated into english and documented. In Sri Lanka and Palestine, PMP also gathered data through two quantitative surveys (+ 2 pilots) that were conducted in the field. Particular attention was made to find representative samples that could reflect the diversity of memories. A last, PMP did 2 web surveys in Burundi, that were focused on the Burundian diaspora (so people of Burundi that live, or lived, outside Burundi).

Most of the anonymized data that was gathered by PMP is now available here under various licenses (depending on the sensitiveness of the data and the level of consent of participants). Actually, most of PMP data could still be sensitive in some contexts or for some uses. This more sensitive data is only available after the acceptance of a research project proposed by the requester.
Methods (description)
PMP used a mixed methods approach and obtained qualitative and quantitative data.
- Qualitative data consists of transcriptions of interview that where done by local PMP researchers.
Methods (instruments)
Replicated study No
Financed by
  • Other: Swiss Programme for Research on Global Issues for Development (r4d programme)
  • SNSF Subsidy (N° 146955)
  • Other: Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation
Ethical approval No
Study type
Data availability
Source (Updates) Web
Date created 13.02.2020
Date modified 17.02.2020
Start - End date 01.01.2014 - 31.12.2019