A political struggle that does not have women at the heart of it, above it, below it, and within it, is no struggle at all.Arundhati Roy, Indian Author
Creative Approaches to Peace-Building in a Post-Conflict Environment
Date and Time: Monday 23 September, 6-7.30pm
Venue: EU House, Mount Street, Dublin 2
Artists and Guest Speakers: Dijana Milošević, Artistic Director, DAH Theatre, Belgrade; Serbia; Sasa Bjelanovic, Director, Youth Peace Group Danube, Vukovar, Croatia; and Billy Caughey, Ex-British Army Soldier in Northern Ireland, interviewee in the creative documentary Stories from the Shadows. With poetry readings on ‘War and Peace’ including readings by researcher Niamh Clowry and writer Féilim James.
Moderator: Dr Stephen Herron, Community Relations Facilitator and Military Anthropologist
Category: Talks and Poetry Readings
Tickets: Ticketed Event – Free Admission. Open to the Public
DETAILS OF EVENT
This evening event is a panel discussion exploring the role of art and culture and creative approaches to peace-building and reconciliation in a post-conflict environment. All of the guest speakers have worked in the area of peace-building following conflict, implementing or working on projects involving the arts and human rights. The event begins with an introduction by Dr Stephen Herron who is one of just several military anthropologists in the UK and Ireland. Academic and research interests include violence, conflict management and resolution, military and defence, civil-military relations, trauma and memory, identity and social and community affairs.
Dr Stephen Herron will set the scene by providing an introduction to the theme of Creativity and Peace-Building in a post-conflict environment with reference to the Creative Connections project, a cultural, arts-based project using creative processes of theatre, film and new digital technologies to promote reconciliation and positive community relations between people and traditions in Northern Ireland and on the island of Ireland today. The project is implemented by Smashing Times in partnership with CAIN (Conflict Archive on the Internet), the University of Ulster INCORE International Conflict Research Institute and in association with Down GAA; Ballybeen Women’s Centre, Belfast; Old Warren Association, Lisburn; the UDR Association, Portadown and with Drumkeeran Drama Group, County Leitrim and Mad Youth Theatre, County Louth. Supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Reconciliation Fund and Co-Operation with Northern Ireland Funding Scheme, Department of Culture Heritage and the Gaeltacht.Stephen will refer to UN SCR 1325 which vows to ensure that women and gender equality are placed at the forefront of international, regional and local peace-building and security policies.
Panel Discussion: Creative Approaches to Peace Building in a Post-Conflict Environment
Panel members will discuss the role of art and culture and creative approaches to peace building and reconciliation in a post-conflict environment with reference to Serbia, Croatia and Northern Ireland.
Artists and guest speakers are:
The Artist Speaks: The role of art, culture and creative approaches to peace-building and reconciliation in Serbia within a post-conflict environment
Speaker: Dijana Milošević, Artistic Director, Dah Theatre, Belgrade, Serbia
Dijana Milošević is a theatre director, co-founder and artistic director of DAH Theatre In Belgrade, Serbia. In addition to directing socially engaged theatre works of a high aesthetic quality, Dijana has worked on issues of violence against women with the activist group ‘Women in Black’, performing stories of women from Kosovo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia and Croatia. Dijana speaks about her artistic processes and inspirations and the role of the arts and culture to build peace within a post-conflict society, exploring questions such as ‘what is the role and meaning of theatre, can the world be changed through performance and what are the responsibilities of artists in times of darkness, violence and human suffering?’ Dijana will refer to her creative work on Crossing the Line, based on women’s testimonies from the war in the former Yugoslavia from 1991 to 1999; and to Presence of Absence dealing with post-traumatic memories of family members missing relatives as a result of war.
Stories from the Shadows: A reflection on the peace process and creative approaches to peace building in Northern Ireland
Speaker: Billy Caughey, Ex-British Army Soldier
Billy Caughey is an ex-British Army Soldier and brother of an ex-parachute regiment member who was injured in and survived the Warrenpoint bombing attack on 27 August 1979, where eighteen British Army soldiers were killed and six seriously injured. Billy will speak about his experiences and his views on the importance of peace today in Northern Ireland. Billy will refer to his involvement in the television documentary Stories from the Shadows and how his original testimony was used to inspire a scene in the original play Uprising scripted by Tara McKevitt and devised by Smashing Times. The television documentary Stories from the Shadows highlights the impact of the Troubles on the lives of ordinary people and explores how theatre can be used as a medium for enabling people to come together to express, share and listen to stories of conflict ‘’everyday stories from all sides – listened to by all sides’’. The documentary charts the journey of artists from Smashing Times as they carried out The Memory Project in Northern Ireland and the Border Counties of the Republic of Ireland using theatre and storytelling workshops; performances and post-show panel discussions to promote peace building and reconciliation and ways forward for a peaceful and shared future for all.
Citizen Voices: The role of art, culture and creative approaches to peace building and reconciliation working with youth and adults in Croatia within a post-conflict environment
Speaker: Sasa Bjelanovic, Director, Youth Peace Group Danube, Vukovar, Croatia
Sasa Bjelanovic, Director, Youth Peace Group Danube, Vukovar, Croatia will talk about the role of the arts, culture and creative approaches to peace building and reconciliation used within his organization particularly when working with youth in a post-conflict environment. Sasa will reflect on the effects of war on ordinary citizens and on the role of the EU to support peace building work including democracy, equality and peace at a local and European level.
Final Q and A Session
Chaired by Moderator with questions from audience
Closing Talk by Moderator Dr Stephen Herron
Dr Stephen Herron will sum up the role of the arts to promote peace and reconciliation in a conflict society with a focus on ways forward for peace in Northern Ireland and on the island of Ireland in a post-Brexit environment. How do we find ways to accommodate diverse groups in a post-conflict society and to identify collective shared solutions for a rights-based society and the promotion of tolerance and respect for different cultures into the future?
The panel talks will be interspersed with poetry readings on the themes of war and peace.