Thursday, May 7, 2015

Invitation: Book Launch and Discussion

Manifestations of Woundedness - Violence and Xenophobia

The Institute for Justice and Reconciliation, War Trauma Foundation (Netherlands), The International Conflict Research Institute (INCORE) and the African Centre for Migration & Society cordially invite you to a book launch and public discussion coinciding with the hosting of an international conference titled ‘Healing communities, transforming society: Exploring the interconnectedness between psycho-social needs, practice and peacebuilding’.

This book - Healing and Change in the City of Gold: Case Studies of Coping and Support in Johannesburg-edited by Ingrid Palmary, Brandon Hamber and Lorena Nunez - offers radically new ways of thinking about precarious life in the city of Johannesburg particularly for migrants. Using case studies as varied as Pentecostal and Zionist churches, brothels, shelters, political movements for change in Zimbabwe, ex-soldiers groups, counselling services and art projects, this volume grapples with the way its predominantly migrant residents navigate the opportunities, challenges, moral orders and relationships in this iconic and complex city.

Given the recent xenophobic violence in South Africa, the volume has a deep resonance, as it traces through in-depth case studies how migrant residents seek support, to cope and to heal, going beyond what mental health professionals traditionally consider support mechanisms or interventions for those in distress. The book will be launched as part of a public panel discussion focused on the current context for migrants in South Africa and abroad.


Professor Brandon Hamber
Director, International Conflict Research Institute (INCORE), Ulster University, Northern Ireland

Professor Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela
University of the Free State, South Africa

Dr Ingrid Palmary
Director and Associate Professor African Centre for Migration and Society, University of the Witwatersrand

DATE: 7 May 2015
TIME: 6 for 6:30pm
VENUE: Sunnyside Park Hotel, Parktown, Johannesburg

TO RSVP please send an email to

Friday, May 1, 2015

Cartographies of Conflict: Belfast, 1969-1994

I am part of a new project called "Cartographies of Conflict: Belfast, 1969-1994". The project, funded by the AHRC and running from May 2015 for three years, assesses the impact that the Troubles had on the architecture of Belfast’s residential communities. There are many visible architectural remnants of the Troubles in Belfast, most notably the ‘peace-walls’ between a number of Protestant and Catholic communities. However, looking beyond the immediately visible we can see examples of divisive architecture within individual communities in Belfast. Housing developments, roads, landscaping and other structures completed during the period of the Troubles continue to divide and fragment communities. For example, streets that once provided pedestrian and vehicular access to services were closed off or restricted through the erection of barriers, landscaping or the placement of new housing. Many of the open terraced streets that formed the fabric of the inner city were redeveloped in the form of inward looking cul-de-sacs. These changes to the architecture of Belfast have changed the city’s appearance and have had an impact on how people move around their immediate areas.

The main aims of the project:

• Identify the relevant architecture throughout the city.
• Engage communities to attain detailed information on how people interact with this architecture.
• Use the research and engagement to inform policy discussions nationally and internationally.

The project consists of a city-wide study of Belfast’s relevant Troubles era architecture in order to gauge the extent and impact of the changes to the built environment that occurred in the period, and that continue to have an impact on the daily lives of the people who live in the areas. Firstly, the relevant architecture was identified through research and consultation with the local communities in six case study areas. These residents were engaged in order to find out what people actually think about this ‘divisive architecture’ (or what we now call "hidden barriers") and how it affects their daily lives, if at all. The research will then be used to help inform policy discussions relevant to the areas and the issues they face. Finally, the lessons for other communities nationally and internationally are being considered from the research and engagement carried out as part of this project.

Project Team: David Coyles (PI), Donovan Wylie (CI), Brandon Hamber (CI), Greg Lloyd (CI) and partners at the London School of Economics (LSE, Ann Power), as well as researchers Adrian Grant (Ulster) and Laura Lane (LSE).

See all the posts and activities about Cartographies of Conflict project.