Ulster University partnered with Build Up and the Centre for Democracy and Peace Building to host the fifth international Build Peace Conference on 29-31 October 2018. The conference brought together practitioners, activists, academics, policy makers, artists and technologists from across the world to share experience and ideas on using technology, arts and other innovations for peacebuilding and conflict transformation. As part of the conference, Dr Coyles and Brandon Hamber arranged a tour for participants of “Hidden Barriers” in Belfast which is linked with ongoing research in this area. The tour focused on Ligoniel focusing on social division linked to architecture and design. To read more about “hidden barriers” research click here.
Last week David Coyles, Dr Adrian Grant and Professor Brandon Hamber presented research findings to a Knowledge Exchange Seminar Series (KESS) at Stormont on “Hidden barriers and divisive architecture: the case of Belfast”. The research notes that “peace-walls” are particularly symbolic of the role that architecture plays in separating residential communities and a comprehensive scholarship continues to assess their effects, but the research focuses on other barriers in the city. The presentation outlines original findings from a three-year multi-disciplinary academic research project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), which extends this current understanding of physical and social division. It reveals new evidence of a distinct and important, yet largely unrecognised, body of divisive architecture; an extensive range of ‘hidden barriers’ embedded in various architectural forms across Belfast’s residential communities. You can download the Policy Brief, click here.