Friday, October 23, 2020

The Case for a Degree in Twitterdemiology

And now for something completely different, I just published "The Case for a Degree in Twitterdemiology" on my Medium channel
"MERS Coronavirus Particle" by NIAID
is licensed under CC BY 2.0

In these challenging times, the University is looking to develop new courses. I suggest we offer a course in "Twitterdemiology". The degree takes typically 2–3 months to complete, involves sharing, preferably uninformed, opinions on Twitter about the spread of diseases, preferably late at night and slightly drunk. A bonus is you never have to wear a mask during class. Involves some study in terms of looking at the occasional graph on a few websites and making a hasty conclusion. The degree is wholly part-time. The degree strongly appeals to those who like to think they are smarter than others for no good reason other than that social media now allows them to share their views in public unfiltered.

That said, the ability to look at a graph and understand what lines are going up or down is an essential criteria to join the class. Students will only be considered if they enjoy a good conspiracy theory and if they generally think experts are prone to exaggeration. Experience in the field of "Climate Change Denial" will stand you in good stead for this degree. 

Read the rest of the article on Medium 

Friday, October 16, 2020

Enhanced Integration of MHPSS in Peacebuilding

On 15 October I gave an address to the "Annual Conference 2020: Harnessing Potential" hosted by The Knowledge Platform Security & Rule of Law. The speech focused on the "Enhanced Integration of Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) in Peacebuilding".  The speech focused on sharing the recommendations for the UN Peacebuilding Architecture Review developed with a multidisciplinary Task Force of which I was a member. The Task Force was established by the government of The Netherlands which is promoting the integration of mental health and psychosocial support in peacebuilding efforts. 

You can listen to my speech below:

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Footsteps of the Disappeared Programme

"Following the Footsteps of the Disappeared" is a two-day programme incorporating a textile display and 2 seminars to mark International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances 30 August 2020.

Programme of Events

Photo credit: Recuerdos de Guadalupe / Guadalupe's Longings (Peru/Chile arpillera, Guadalupe Ccallocunto, 1989), photographer Martin Melaugh, © Conflict Textiles

"Following the Footsteps of the Disappeared" is a partnership between Conflict Textiles, the Ulster Museum and the John Hume and Thomas P. O'Neill Chair in Peace, Ulster University, and also the Transformative Memory Network.

Monday, August 3, 2020

On the Passing of John Hume

John Hume is undoubtedly one of the most significant politicians of the last 50 years. It was sad to hear of his passing today, and my thoughts are first with Pat Hume and the family.

John Hume was the product of social upheaval linked to the conflict in and about Northern Ireland from 1960s onwards, and he rose to prominence from humble roots when he took a stand against violence, in many ways similar to those that significantly influenced his thinking, such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi.

Growing up in South Africa, and moving to Northern Ireland only in 2001, I came late to the work and philosophy of John Hume. However, when I first started to work in Derry in 1996, his home city, his legacy was impossible to ignore. This continues and is no more acute than today as he leaves the political stage forever.

In 1998, shortly after the signing of the Belfast Agreement, when I was still based in South Africa but was in Northern Ireland over the winter, I first met Pat Hume. She called at the door of my wife's sisters house where we were having a New Year's Eve party, just to say hello and wish us well. The down to earth nature of the Hume family was immediately apparent. Little did I know at the time that my history would become tied into the work of John Hume.

John Hume at the unveiling of a plaque to mark those he brought to Derry as part of the Tip O'Neill lecture series at Ulster University including Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Mary McAleese, John Kerry and Kofi Annan, among many others 


In 2015, I was appointed the John Hume and Thomas P. O'Neill Chair in Peace at Ulster University. The Chair honours John Hume and his pivotal role in the peace process, and Thomas P. O'Neill who, as Speaker of the House of Representatives, was a significant force for enlisting the United States in advancing peace in Northern Ireland. The two men worked together to bring the US into the peace process. The Chair recognises the contribution of both men to conflict transformation and peacebuilding by recording and sharing the lessons learned and continuing the process of peace and reconciliation for future generations. The Chair's reach extends now to South Africa, Colombia, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Basque Country and Uganda, among others.

Every activity I, therefore, undertake in my professional life is tied to John Hume's legacy, and hopefully my contribution to peace locally and globally, as modest as it is, is a fitting tribute to his life and work, along with that of Tip O'Neill.

On hearing of the death of John, I wanted to make a few personal reflections, mostly about his work, which I have tried to better understand since being appointed the Hume O'Neill Chair. In the last few years, in particular, I have been reading some of Hume's speeches and watching video clips. His contribution is immense. Anyone who says that John Hume only ever made one speech, has never taken the time to mull over his words. I was also fortunate enough to be asked to write the Foreword to Sean Farren's edited book "John Hume: In His Own Words". This book, which is a collection of original speeches, particularly helped me to develop a deeper understanding of Hume's politics. Some of my reflections below I also recorded in the book but wanted to share some today.

I was fortunate enough to meet John and Pat Hume many times since 1998 thanks to their association with Ulster University and the Magee Campus in particular. What always came across is their strong belief in social justice, political tolerance and the peaceful resolution of conflict. I have further identified four key approaches routinely mentioned by John Hume to achieve this.

Firstly, Hume is committed to the idea that dialogue is essential and that conflicts can only be resolved through open discussion, even in contexts of sharp differences of opinion. Underpinning this is the idea that, certainly in Ireland, there is an inter-dependency between people that is inescapable.

Secondly, he believes that inter-dependence stretched globally. The European Union was an example of how unity and inter-dependence could be fostered. This also led Hume to recognise the importance of the US and its familial and historical connections to Ireland, as key to the peace process and stimulating economic growth, which was necessary to ensure and ultimately sustain peace. This global commitment, in part, explains his relationship with Tip O'Neill. But more profoundly this global commitment developed into Hume's form of nationalism, that is, a conviction that people and not place or geography defined nationhood.

Thirdly, Hume opposes the use of violence. In his speeches, Hume continually highlights with great compassion the cost of violence to individuals routinely quoting statistics of death. He also notes other impacts, i.e. that violence "has cost us jobs" and that peace cannot be built on "the ruins of a shattered economy". There are other elements of practicality in his views on non-violence, that is, that republican violence distracted from the social injustices in the society and would "only strengthen Unionism".

Finally, he consistently speaks of reconciliation. Hume's view seems to start instrumentally concerning reconciliation, that is that Irish Unity is only possible through different traditions coming together. A United Ireland for Hume would be achieved not by overcoming "the Northern Protestant but to seek his help and cooperation". However, as his thinking develops, it is clear he becomes more committed to the principle of reconciliation at all costs. Hume sees the "road of reconciliation" as the only "real road forward".

At the core of these beliefs, however, is a profoundly pragmatic view of the world, not a rose-tinted idea of social harmony. Reconciliation for Hume is not only people-to-people relationship building. Hume sees reconciliation as needing institutional, political and social support. Hume noted in 1983 that many "furiously abhor the work of reconciliation" for this very reason. We know today, not only in Northern Ireland but globally, that some still see reconciliation negatively: a sop to the aggressors; a false coming together; selling out one's principles; or some idealistic peacenik concept. However, John Hume suggests we have no other choice than to foster reconciliation if we are, for better or worse, destined to share our society with others.

John Hume challenges us all to recognise that reconciliation is profoundly difficult and tricky yet at the heart of sustainable peace, noting in a speech at Dublin Castle in 1983: "Let that reconciliation start today in this room – between ourselves. Goodwill alone – and I know we have with us today the goodwill of the mass of the people of this island – will not suffice. We must apply all the resources of our collective intelligence, imagination, generosity and determination to this great enterprise and be seen to do it. We must mean business and we must be seen to desperately mean business".

To this end, as I reflect sadly today on the passing of John Hume, I am reminded of these weighty words and feel inspired to play my small part in upholding his legacy. I hope others with more political influence will use this moment to reflect and rise to the challenge. Rest in peace, John, and thank you for all the hard lessons you continue to teach us, and for the hope your words and deeds continue to convey.

Monday, July 27, 2020

Gender, Truth-telling and Institutional Reform

DCAF (Geneva Centre for Security Sector Reform) with UN Women organised a panel discussion on integrating gender into truth-telling to create a platform for institutional reform on 23 July 2020. Seminar is now online.

Panel Members

  • Ibtihel Abdellatif, Chair of the Women's Committee, Tunisia Truth and Dignity Commission (IVD)
  • Professor Brandon Hamber, John Hume and Thomas P. O'Neill Chair in Peace, International Conflict Research Institute (INCORE), Ulster University
  • Farah Tanis, Executive Director, Black Women's Blueprint (US), Commissioner BWB Truth Commission US
  • Yasmin Sooka, Commissioner, UN CoHR on South Sudan and former Truth Commissioner for South Africa TRC, Sierra Leone TRC

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Seminar: Is the UK heading towards combat impunity?

I have continued with the Transitional Justice Institute (TJI), INCORE, and Healing Through Remembering to host seminars on our Dealing with the Past series.

On 5 June 2020, Dr Thomas Hansen, Lecturer in Law and member of the Transitional Justice Institute at Ulster University, delivered a seminar entitled  "Is the UK heading towards combat impunity?". The seminar focused on a number of initiatives and measures aimed at protecting military service personnel from investigation and prosecution currently being considered by the UK, including a Statute of Limitations, derogating from the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) in future armed conflicts; amending the Human Rights Act, and restricting UK courts' ability to adjudicate civil claims originating from conflicts abroad.

Dr Hansen argued that these measures if implemented, are problematic from a human rights and rule of perspective and undermines the UK's role as a strong defender of human rights in the global arena and a champion of the international rule of law.

The seminar is part of the Transitional Justice Institute (TJI) and INCORE, in partnership with Healing Through Remembering and the John Hume and Thomas P. O'Neill Chair in Peace, online seminar series. The seminar was chaired by Professor Brandon Hamber. The seminar can now be watched online.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Policy Brief: Historical Institutional Abuse and Transitional Justice

Professor Patricia Lundy and I have now published a Policy Brief based on work on historical institutional abuse and transitional justice.

This policy briefing draws upon the Northern Ireland Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry to explicate the nexus of historical institutional abuse inquiries with transitional justice approaches. Through detailed analysis of empirical research with those who gave testimony to the Inquiry, the briefing explores to what extent the Inquiry was victim-centric, participatory and responsive. Drawing on lessons from transitional justice, the brief outlines five recommendations that could strengthen the victim-centred nature of approaches to dealing with the legacy of historical child abuse. The brief concludes that addressing victims' needs should be the linchpin for both transitional justice and historical institutional abuse approaches.

To download the Policy Brief, click here.

To download the longer Research Article, click here.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Statues Don't Teach History, They Applaud It

Recently I saw a piece quoting the Vice-Chancellor of Oxford, Louise Richardson, saying removing from Oriel College the statue of Cecil John Rhodes, the colonial administrator and financier, risks hiding history. The UK Prime Minister has also expressed the view, in a series of Tweets noting, particularly in relation to the statue of Winston Churchill, that "statues teach us about our past, with all its faults". Am I the only one who thinks this is nonsense?

Statues are not about history or pedagogy but commemoration. Should we commemorate people like Cecil John Rhodes today?

"Cecil John Rhodes UCT" by barbourians CCBY2.0
If the Vice-Chancellor is so concerned about history you can take down the statue and leave a large plinth explaining Rhodes brutal history and Oxford's relationship with colonialism. Or better still teach history in one of the esteemed colleges, or make a podcast, a movie or build a website, or even consult a book. I don't learn history from statues. Does anyone?

Statues tell us who society values and about the values of those commemorated. The whole idea of statues (at least traditionally) is to make these values and the venerable person a permanent feature, hence the granite and bronze. There is no place for Rhodes-like values today. Rhodes not only embodied white supremacy he literally defined it in paper he gave at Oxford in 1877, he wrote: "I contend that we [the white English] are the first race in the world, and that the more of the world we inhabit the better it is for the human race. Just fancy those parts that are at present inhabited by the most despicable specimen of human being, what an alteration there would be in them if they were brought under Anglo-Saxon influence". The Vice-Chancellor of Oxford, argues we should understand such views of the past in the context of the time. But surely the point is we need to consider the views of the past in the context of present, not the other way around. The real question is should we be venerating a man who held such views today? This is not a historical question, or debate about context, it is a contemporary question about aspiration, values and the morality we wish to endorse.

Watching the protestors in London recently allegedly protecting certain statues from Black Lives Matter protestors, made we wonder how much history these self-appointed protectors had learnt from said statues. If you asked them about the history of say Churchill they may know a selected fact or two, but they did not learn it from a lump of bronze but from school, TV, or a book, or more than likely hearsay or family. In other words, even for those who think statues have historical value the object has taught them no history or the associated history is selective. Thus proving the point they have no substantive relationship to history beyond the symbolic. In fact teaching history is seldom the purpose for erecting a statue in the first place. They are primarily about glorification and by extension societal meaning-making and value creation. By definition they are at best a form of selective history-making which reinforces the idea history is made by individual great White men (largely) and thus have limited or no pedagogic value. Statues in their stark simplicity distort rather than convey historical complexity.

Hence there is, in my view, no need for statues that were undoubtedly created in praise of people who by contemporary standards would be seen as abhorrent. By all means, for example, let us remember Cecil John Rhodes, and learn about him and what he did (positively and negatively) in schools and museums, but deifying his alleged grandeur in a statue in the public realm is a completely different matter. We can place such statues in museums, as some have argued, where the context can be explained, but to use tax revenue to maintain them so they can dominate public space while symbolically oozing outdated and racist belief-systems is not ethical, educational or inclusive.

Statues, particularly of certain political and social figures are not benign. By having them in public space, and given that statues have traditionally always been about veneration, they are always symbolically imparting a set of values. In the case of many colonial figures around the world these values were undoubtedly about superiority, exclusion and racism. In this context, we have to ask why are some intent on keeping them?

Another common retort is that if we start the process of removing statues, then where do we stop? This is quickly followed by, and given what happened in Bristol to the statue of the slaver Colston, accusation that those of us who say there is no place for such statues in the public realm are advocating mob-vandalism. Of course not. The real question is not where do you stop with removing statues, but how and where do we start the discussion about their removal.

Let's be clear I am talking about statues in public space funded for their establishment and upkeep by public tax. So the public should have a say about what makes them comfortable or alienates them from the public space. This is not the same as saying the mob should decide, as I have been accused of doing when making similar comments on social media. We need to start with trusted and genuine local and national government processes, including proper consultation and debate how we use public space. From what I have read one of the reasons Colston ended up at the bottom of the harbour was that after multiple attempts to have a debate and resolve the issues at council level, the council dithered away for years not resolving the issue.

We all know governments can be terrible at these public consultations and debate, and I have my doubts, but when it comes to issues such as how the legacies of the past continue to impact on the identity and sense of place citizens have in society they have a duty to address this issue. It appears certainly in the US and UK, heads only momentarily pop out of the sand, when there is significant protest. If no one complains, then it is business as usual. Or if one quietly requests to discuss the state of the public realm in writing, it is shunted off to some committee never to emerge. Given the inaction on these issues in the past it is only right governments now feel, and should continue to feel, the pressure the Black Lives Matter has brought to the table, as well as other campaigners. The time has come for the government to be significantly more pro-active. The protests will continue to emerge until this happens.

It is not helpful for the British PM to say he will protect the statue of Churchill no matter what. Rather, he should be saying he will design a process to hear the views of the nation on the matter or more specifically a process in London-related boroughs. But seemingly he is afraid to have a genuine public debate because the majority of the government knows that this will open a discussion about colonialism and its legacy. The establishment, certainly in Britain, have wilfully denied the impact of colonialism for years or minimised it. Many of those sitting in the Lords are there because of inherited slave money as the Guardian covered. Britain has never made a wholesale apology for colonialism and the continued devastating impact of Empire. Instead, the PM himself has made widely misguided comments about colonialism in the past, largely arguing that Britain was good for Africa. Strangely not a view those who experienced Colonial rule or inherited the mess it left behind would largely share. In short, the government — and arguably the society at large — certainly in Britain — have chosen to exclude the negative impact of the colonial legacy from public debate and that is why this "statue" problem has arisen.

For Oxford it is the same and remember it too is funded largely by the public as with all UK universities. If they held a wide-ranging consultation with staff and students, and it was agreed Rhodes should stay, so be it from my perspective and at least then you know how the majority feel. If a group then ripped it down, we would know they were acting against the wishes of the majority. But I am sure if the full legacy of Rhodes was put on the table for open and honest debate, few would want to pay homage to him at the entrance of their school.

Of course, removing statues is not enough when we are discussing ongoing racism and intergenerational systemic exclusion of Black people globally. But it is symbolically important and hopefully leads to the acknowledgement of the past and its legacy in the present. In so doing we can begin the journey (albeit several hundreds years late) to shape a new set of values for our age. That is the real work to be done. If in 100 years the next generations no longer see these as right for society, which they probably will not, they must change again. That is called progress. But progress is never easy and there is no immediate resolution. But to be sure, opening public space to have a contested and tough discussion, and acknowledging the legacy of colonialism, is the only place to start. More denial, or continually saying anyone who wants to discuss this wishes to deny history or worse is a leftist lunatic or favours mob rule, will not make the catastrophic atrocities of the colonial past and their continued reverberations in the present miraculously go away.

This article was published on Medium on 14 June 2020. 

The article was published before Oxford took the decision to remove the statue of Cecil John Rhodes from the College.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Seminar: Trauma-Informed Approach

The second seminar in the Dealing with the Past series was hosted online on 18 May 2020, with some 250 people joining online. I chaired this important online event.

The seminar was entitled "The need for a trauma-informed approach to address the conflict's legacy" and was delivered by Professor Siobhan O'Neill on 18 May 2020. In this seminar Professor O'Neill presents the evidence on the transgenerational impact of trauma, and highlights the importance of a "trauma-informed" approach to addressing the conflict's legacy to protect the population from further harm.

The seminar is part of the Transitional Justice Institute (TJI) and INCORE, in partnership with Healing Through Remembering and the John Hume and Thomas P. O'Neill Chair in Peace, online seminar series. The seminar was chaired by Professor Brandon Hamber.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Lessons from Transitional Justice for Historical Institutional Abuse

A new article on "Lessons from Transitional Justice? Toward a New Framing of a Victim-Centered Approach in the Case of Historical Institutional Abuse" has been published by myself and Professor Patricia Lundy. The article was published in the journal Victims and Offenders in April 2020.

The article critically examines transitional justice mechanisms to determine if historical abuse inquiries can learn from this field of practice. The article explores the Northern Ireland Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry which reported its findings in January 2017 as a vehicle for addressing what lessons might be learned or shared between the fields of transitional justice and investigations into historical abuse. Through a detailed analysis of empirical research with those that gave testimony to the Inquiry, including fourthly-three victims and Inquiry transcripts, the article explores to what extent the Inquiry was victim-centered, enabled victim participation (beyond giving testimony) and addressed victim needs. The article shows that many of the flaws of transitional justice mechanisms have been replicated when dealing with historical child abuse.

Drawing on lessons from transitional justice – both positive and negative – the article outlines five broad areas for consideration that could strengthen the victim-centered nature of approaches to dealing with the legacy of historical child abuse. The article concludes that addressing victims' needs should be at the center and drive approaches and processes for both transitional justice and historical institutional abuse.

To request the article contact me.

If you have journal access the article can be downloaded here.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Breaking Binary History Online Seminar

The first of the "Dealing with the Past in Northern Ireland" seminar series is now available online. The seminar was entitled "Breaking Binary History: Can the Stormont House Agreement facilitate a broader and more representative understanding of the past?"" by Dr Adrian Grant on 7 May 2020.

The seminar is part of the Transitional Justice Institute (TJI) and INCORE, in partnership with Healing Through Remembering and the John Hume and Thomas P. O'Neill Chair in Peace, online seminar series.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Dealing with the Past Seminar Series

Despite the challenging current context debates about how to address Northern Ireland's past continue. I am delighted to be organising in my capacity as John Hume and Thomas P. O'Neill Chair in Peace - with the Transitional Justice Institute (TJI) and INCORE and in partnership with Healing Through Remembering - and important seminar series on this issue.  This online seminar series will explore the Stormont House Agreement and dealing with the past in Northern Ireland and run for the remainder of the year.

Find out more and review the schedule of seminars.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Psychosocial Issues and Peacebuilding Paper

Community Meeting, Colombia (Credit: Brandon Hamber)
Today I presented a short paper entitled "Mind the past to build the future: Systematic attention for Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) inpeacebuilding efforts". The presentation was part of a member state consultation hosted by Stabilisation and Humanitarian Aid Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dutch Government. The initiative is run by the Dutch Government to find opportunities to enable international bodies, tasked with building sustainable peace, to integrate psychosocial aspects in all stages of their work.

In the member state consultation I was asked to give a brief insight into the psychosocial dynamics that need to be analysed and addressed when working on the peace-conflict continuum, and the value-added of Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) in peacebuilding efforts. Also, to focus on the importance of ongoing efforts to integrate MHPSS in peacebuilding. I based my remarks here on a chapter written for a large-scale research project into psychosocial issues and peacebuilding carried out by myself and colleagues.

You can download my paper here.

Friday, April 3, 2020

Masculinities: Women, Peace and Security Online Seminar

The Women, Peace and Security (WPS)  agenda, as defined by the UN Security Council, has latterly addressed itself more directly to the question of 'engaging men and boys'. On 3 April 2020 I gave a seminar on these developments and its significance for debates on masculinity, as well as WPS more broadly. The seminar is now available online.

This event is part of the WPS@20 seminar series hosted by the Ulster University Transitional Justice Institute to mark the upcoming 20th anniversary of the adoption of Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security by the United Nations Security Council.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Masculinities in Conflict: My Publications

I have numerous requests for my writing and publications on masculinities, conflict and transition. So below I have compiled a list of published work to date:

  • Hamber, Brandon (2015). There Is a Crack in Everything: Problematising Masculinities, Peacebuilding and Transitional Justice. Human Rights Review, 17 (1). pp. 9-34 [Request Copy or Access in the Journal]

  • Gallagher, Elizabeth and Hamber, Brandon (2015). Addressing the psychosocial needs of young men: The case of Northern Ireland. In: Psychosocial Perspectives on Peacebuilding. Springer: New York, pp. 90-149 [More Information]

  • Hamber, Brandon and Gallagher, Elizabeth (2014) Ships passing in the night: psychosocial programming and macro peacebuilding strategies with young men in Northern Ireland. Intervention: Journal of Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Conflict Affected Areas, 12 (1), 43-60 [Download]

  • Hamber, B. (2010). Masculinity and Transition: Crisis or Confusion in South Africa? Journal of Peacebuilding and Development, 5(3), 75-88 [Request Copy or Access in the Journal]

  • Hamber, B. & Palmary, I. (2009). Gender, Memorialization, and Symbolic Reparations. In R. Rubio-Marin (Ed.), The Gender of Reparations: Unsettling Sexual Hierarchies While Redressing Human Rights Violations (pp. 324-381). New York: Cambridge University Press [Request Copy]

  • Hamber, B. (2007). Masculinity and Transitional Justice: An Exploratory Essay. Peace Prints: South Asian Journal of Transitional Justice, 3(1), Autumn [Download]

  • Hamber, B. (2007). Masculinity and Transitional Justice: An Exploratory Essay. International Journal of Transitional Justice, 1(3), 375-390 [Request Copy or Access in the Journal]

  • Hamber, B. (2006). Where are the men in the battle for equality? Look South and Polity, 20 October 2006. [Download]

  • Hamber, B. (2006, 12-13 October). 'We must be very careful how we emancipate our women': shifting masculinities in post-apartheid South Africa. Paper presented at the Re-Imagining Women's Security: a Comparative Study of South Africa, Northern Ireland and Lebanon Round Table, New York [Download]

  • Hamber, B., Hillyard, P., Maguire, A., McWilliams, M., Robinson, G., Russell, D., et al. (2006). Discourses in Transition: Re-Imagining Women's Security. International Relations, 20(4), 487-502 [Request Copy or Access in the Journal]

If you cannot access any of the above publications, please send me a request and I will email it to you.

Friday, January 24, 2020

New John Hume Archive on CAIN

Great to hear that CAIN has recently received funding from the Reconciliation Fund to compile a new web resource of speeches, statements, and articles by John Hume during his political career (1964 to 2004). The work on this project began with a donation of source materials that Sean Farren had collected during the research on his book: Farren, Sean. (Ed.) (2017). John Hume: In his own words. I wrote a Foreword to the book. The initial working project page can be viewed here. The resource is key to my ongoing work at John Hume and Thomas P. O'Neill Chair in Peace.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Screenings of Two Indonesian Films

The lastest screenings "Screening Violence" project took place in Dungannon on 16 January 2020, with the support of the Dungannon Film Club, showing two Indonesian films followed by a discussion with participants. The films were Sowan (The Visit) which documents the friendship of two young women, Mien and Murti, who end up on different sides of the political troubles of the mid-1960s. The second film Provocator Damai (Peace Provocateur) is short documentary charts the experiences of Christians and Muslims residing with families of the opposite faith. The second film, in particular, raised an important discussion about the impact of cross-community work in Northern Ireland, with a range of divergent views.

Scene from The Visit (Sowan)
The AHRC Project "Screening Violence: A Transnational Study of Post-Conflict Imaginaries" is undertaken with partners in Newcastle and Bristol University, and works with co-investigators and partners in Algeria, Argentina, Colombia, Northern Ireland and Indonesia.