On 8 November 2019, the Chair worked with the BBC Rewind team to launch on the Magee Campus the Ten Chapters Of The Northern Ireland Troubles’. The Ten Chapters, produced by the BBC Rewind editorial and technology team, is an online, multi-media series of episodes covering the conflict in Northern Ireland from the 1950s to the 1990s. As part of the launch a workshop was run with 14-22 year olds from the City.
The Ten Chapters of the Northern Ireland Troubles can be accessed here.
The BBC project came about as a result of discussions with the INCORE/CAIN project teams at Ulster University and Queen’s University Belfast, and as part of the tripartite agreement between the BBC and the academic institutions. The CAIN team identified ten broad themes which the BBC’s Rewind team researched then curated and compiled videos and imagery from BBC News NI’s newly-digitised archive. Where appropriate, stills and video from other broadcasters have been incorporated. Designed primarily for those aged 14 and older, the resource can be used in addition to academic resources. It was created independently by the BBC in line with its editorial guidelines and was reviewed for historical accuracy by INCORE/Ulster University academics.
The Chair facilitated a discussion with Dr Wilhelm Verwoerd at the Belfast launch of “Verwoerd: My Journey through Family Betrayals” on 17 October 2019. The discussion focused on key aspects of the book, and particularly Dr Verwoerd’s challenges of coming to terms with the fact that HF Verwoerd, his grandfather, was the South African Prime Minister who is widely considered the architect of the apartheid system. Topics for discussion included key questions of the responsibilities of those who benefitted from the apartheid system, the question of “betrayal” when you take a different path to peacebuilding from those around you, as well as the relevance of the book to wider contexts.
The Chair, with the Transitional Justice Institute and INCORE, hosted a successful book launch of “Reconciliation and Building a Sustainable Peace: Competing Worldviews in South Africa and Beyond” by Dr Cathy Bollaert. The book, based on her PhD research at Ulster University (co-supervised by Brandon Hamber, Kris Brown and Fionnuala D. Ní Aoláin), explores how competing worldviews impact on intergroup relations and building a sustainable peace in culturally diverse societies. It raises the question of what happens in a culturally diverse society when competing values and ways of interpreting reality collide and what this means for peace-building and the goal of reconciliation.
The Chair was delighted to serve as master of ceremonies for a Life Stories event as part Donegal County Council’s Tip O’Neill Irish Diaspora Awards on 26 September 2019. The event was part of the Life Stories series was hosted by Prof. Paul Moore. Professor Moore interviewed the four award recipients; Pat Doherty, Patrick C. Dunican Jr., Daniel J Hilferty and playwright Frank McGuinness at our Magee Campus.
In 2019 INCORE partnered with the University of Massachusetts Summer Institute in Northern Ireland to partner and deliver several sessions on the summer school. The Chair worked directly on this helping plan and arrange sessions in both Derry-Londonderry (13 July) and Belfast (16 July). In Derry-Londonderry sessions on memory and conflict were arranged with the Museum of Free Derry and the Siege Museum, and the trip also involved a city tour (delivered by Dr Adrian Grant). In Belfast students undertook a mural tour, and sessions from INCORE and TJI on tourism and peacebuilding (delivered by Dr Maire Braniff), as well as LGBTQ issues and peace (delivered by Dr Fidelma Ashe).
On 26 to 28 June 2019, the Chair travelled to Geneva at the invitation of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UN OHCHR). The Chair was asked to address the concept of reconciliation and how it relates to transitional justice, and human rights. The input took place at the UN in an event entitled “Working Session on Transitional Justice”. The high level meeting included representatives from the UN in a range of their county offices.
On 7 June 2019, The Chair was invited to a further Social Forum (hosted by Bake Bidea) in the Basque Country. This civil society structure aims to engage the wider society in the peace process and it took place in Biarritz. The Chair gave the keynote address followed by discussion with the wider public focusing on reconciliation and victims issues. The Forum specifically focused on issues in the French Basque Country, as well as reconciliation and victims issues.