How We Remember War

‘One day a new ideal will arise, and there will be an end to all wars. I die convinced of this. It will need much hard work, but it will be achieved. The important thing, until that happens, is to hold one’s banner high and to struggle.  Without struggle there is no life.’

Käthe Kollwitz, Artist, Germany

Dublin Arts and Human Rights Festival

How We Remember War

Date and Time: Friday 23 October 2020, 7pm

Platform: Online event hosted by Smashing Times

Category: Presentation & Panel Discussion

Tickets: Open to the public 

Booking: Click Here

Moderator: Maureen Hetherington, Towards Understanding and Healing (TUH), Northern Ireland

Speakers: Elaine Forde, Derry Playhouse; Fergus Cooper, documentary filmmaker; John Reavey, Reavey Brothers Film; Paul Reavey, ‘Blood Red Lines’; Frédérique Lecomte, Theatre et Reconciliation, Belgium; Fiona Bawn-Thompson, actor, writer, director and choreographer.


Presentations from film makers and artists on work that has been developed remembering conflicts. The presentations will be followed by panel discussion. 

The presentations are as follows:

Speaker: Elaine Ford, Head of Engagement at Playhouse, Derry-Londonderry

Title: How Conflict is Remembered Through Art at the Derry Playhouse

Elaine will speak about her work at the Derry Playhouse, and how conflict is dealt with through the arts.

During the last three years The Playhouse has delivered the Theatre and Peacebuilding Academy funded by EU Peace IV.  The programme commissioned a range of artists to develop creative projects in collaboration with the community with the aim of contributing to peace and reconciliation.

Elaine produced four productions including The Crack in Everything written and developed by Irish theatre-maker Jo Egan. The production explored the life and death of six children who were innocently killed during the Troubles between 1971 -1981. The production sold-out at The Derry Playhouse and in the Brian Friel theatre Belfast She also produced Blood Red Lines a play described as a ‘visceral, gritty and emotional, local testimony of the conflict and the struggle for truth and justice’. The play had a sold-out performance in Newry Townhall in 2019 and An Tain Dundalk.  The project ended with a production entitled Anything Can Happen 1972; Voices from the Heart of the Troubles by Damian Gorman. The production shone a light on 1972 the worst year of the Troubles. The production was live streamed from The Playhouse and has been watched by approx. 30K people.

The Playhouse Theatre and Peace Building Academy creates theatre and art that allows reflection, active dialogue on consequences of conflict and builds techniques to engage with painful memories as artists draw upon their skills and experience to use drama and theatre to promote healing and positive community relations.   Because of lockdown and Covid-19, the Playhouse is running a new digital Playhouse, bringing live performance back to the theatre with a programme of productions and events screened online. The Playhouse are programming live performances inside the theatre that will also be broadcast live, online, across the world via its newly installed live broadcasting infrastructure. All performances will be free to all subscribers to the Playhouse’s YouTube channel. 

Speaker: Fergus Cooper, documentary filmmaker

Title: Conflict Trauma & Recovery: working as a documentary filmmaker in a post-conflict society.

A humanitarian and media professional’s reflections on the challenges of truth recovery, reconciliation and working with victims and survivors of war. Fergus will show the trailer for his film, ‘A Quiet Shuffling of Feet’, and will speak about the motivations and challenges in making a film about victims and survivors’ trauma and recovery journey.

Speaker: John Reavey, filmmaker

Title: ‘Reavey Brothers’

John will speak about his film, ‘Reavey Brothers’ which tells the story of the death of his three uncles, the three Reavey brothers killed in 1976 in the Troubles in Northern Ireland. The brothers were John Martin (24) and Brian Reavey (22) who died when members of the Glenanne Gang burst into their Whitecross home and opened fire as they watched TV on January 4, 1976. A third brother  Anthony (17), was injured and died several weeks later. John will speak about how he himself, a young person who did not grow up during the times of the deaths, approached things. What techniques and research he did and how it impacted him and his upbringing. As film director John Reavey has said the film is a ‘peaceful’ project, and not meant to bring up ‘bad blood at all’.

Speaker: Paul Reavey

Title: Blood Red Lines

Paul Reavey is an actor and writer and his work includes ‘Blood Red Lines’ produced by the Playhouse Theatre. Paul will speak about his time on this production and how he told the story which was so close to him and so personal, in a professional way.

Speaker: Fiona Bawn-Thompson, actor, writer, director and choreographer

Title: Creative Connections

Fiona will speak about her involvement in the Creative Connections Project with Smashing Times, International Centre for the Arts and Equality. She will speak about the workshops, performances and symposiums that took place, the discussions that were held, and the peace-building that was achieved through this project.

Speaker: Frédérique Lecomte, Theatre et Reconciliation, Belgium

Title: Using Creative Processes to Promote Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation

Frédérique Lecomte is Artistic Director of Theatre et Reconciliation and will speak about her work using cre­ative processes to promote conflict resolution and reconciliation in the Congo with a focus on her unique techniques ‘Methods for Theatrical Practice in Conflict Zones’.

Theater & Reconciliation

Theater & Reconciliation was founded in 1994 in Belgium by director Frédérique Lecomte and aims to perpetuate a particular dramaturgical practice that works, through theatre, to empower marginalized or vulnerable communities  and to promote conflict resolution and reconciliation. This work is based on an original method, designed and developed by Frédérique Lecomte and the rehearsals mix professional and amateur actors to create a happy, political and unbridled theater that dares to say aloud what everyone thinks in a low voice, giving the floor to those who are deprived of it. “I create on the difficulty of putting together people who normally, hate each other, kill each other, take revenge, suspect each other, consider the other as part of an inferior humanity. There, I act, I combine, I mix;  I rock the limits of fear, fear of others, fear of oneself. ” (Frédérique Lecomte, Theater & Reconciliation, Method for Theatrical Practice in Conflict Zones , The Stolen Letter, 2015).

Theatre et Reconciliation were one of four partner organisations involved in the European wide programme Comet Lines – Freedom Trails of Europe. This was a  yearlong, transnational project with four European partners from Ireland, Spain, Poland and Belgium that used creative processes of theatre workshops, performances, film and new digital technologies to promote a remembrance of European history with a focus on ‘Escape Lines’ during  WWII.  The project was supported by Europe for Citizens under Strand One: Eu­ropean Remembrance with support in Ireland from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Communicating Europe Initiative.

L to R: Megan O’Malley, Carla Ryan and Michael Bates in Shadow of my Soul by Mary Moynihan, presented as part of the European-wide project Comet Lines – Freedom Trails of Europe
‘Thou Shalt Not Kill’

This event is presented as part of Creative Connections for a Brighter Future funded by the Co-Operation with Northern Ireland Funding Scheme 2020, Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht