On 29 September 2021, the Chair gave a keynote address entitled “Individual and Collective Recovery from Human-Caused Disasters: Lessons from Political Violence Around the Globe”. The keynote was delivered to the Institute for Disasters Mental Health Conference which this year had the theme of “From 9/11 to Covid-19, Lessons from Two Decades of Disaster Responses”.
This IDMH conference, hosted by State University of New York (Online), brought together a roster of expert presenters from across the US to review how much has been learned about incorporating mental health needs into emergency response, and to look ahead to where we can. Professor Hamber’s keynote explored lessons from managing political violence for mental health in disaster settings.
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.
On 5 October 2018, The Chair was invited to the “5th 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 Pamplona. The title of the conference was the “Right to know the truth: mechanisms for the recognition and reparation of the victims of the conflict” and The Chair gave the keynote address followed by discussion with the wider public.
The event was covered in a range of newspapers provoking a range of different reactions:
The WHO International Healthy Cities Conference opened on 1 October 2018 in Belfast, Northern Ireland, bringing together more than 500 delegates from 60 countries and over 200 cities. The overarching theme of the conference was “Changing cities to change the world”, recognizing that urban centres have a vital role to play in sustainable development. The Chair gave a keynote address on 2 October at the conference in the Waterfront Hall in Belfast. The keynote was built around the quotation from American-Canadian author Jane Jacobs to illustrate the importance of participation and ownership: “Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody”. To find out more about the conference, click here.
The Textile Language of Conflicts Exhibition launched today (6 November 2017) at the Magee Campus, Ulster University. The exhibition was curated by Roberta Bacic and organised by Professor Robinson. Professor Hamber gave the keynote address at the opening entitled “Reflecting on Masculinities Through the Eye of the Needle”. The talk can be listened to below.
Professor Hamber and Grainne Kelly continued to work on the concept of reconciliation. In 2017 they spoke at two high-level events in Northern Ireland. The first with The Executive Office and staff as they consider the role of reconciliation in the draft Programme for Government and Together: Building a United Community (TBUC). They participants and delivered the keynote address at a further seminar at the “Together: Building a United Community Engagement Forum” on 15 June 2017, with the Executive Office (TEO) and over 160 community practitioners, policymakers and academics that took place at the Girdwood Community Hub.
In May the Chair travelled to Uganda. The trip was aimed at continuing to forge links with the Refugee Law Project and specially to participate in The Institute for African Transitional Justice (IATJ) an annual event established in 2010, by the Refugee Law Project (RLP) with financial support by the Democratic Governance Facility (DGF).
The event brings together transitional justice experts from across the African continent and beyond, to develop timely, topical and context-appropriate African Transitional Justice theory and practice. The event brought together a total of 71 participants, from ten different countries across the globe including Spain, England, Northern Ireland, Kenya, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe, Germany, United States of America and host country Uganda.
Professor Hamber gave the keynote address to the conference which focused on theme “Too little too late – or too much too soon?- The Time and Timing of Transitional Justice”. The 6th IATJ was held in Gulu from 29th May to 03rd June 2016.
The event provided an important opportunity to better understand the long-term aftermath of the war that ostensibly ended in 2008.
On visiting some local communities in Northern Uganda it was clear that the issue of dealing with the disappeared, memories of the conflict and displacement, the consequences of physical and community destruction of resources, ongoing distrust of the current government to support local communities, and inter-community trust remain key issues.
Most impressive was the local mourning rituals that have been developed around dealing with the disappeared, work with male victims of sexual violence and also the Refugee Law Projects work in the new The National Memory and Peace Documentation Centre (NMPDC).
The Chair aims to continue to work with groups and individuals in developing work in Uganda in the coming years.