The conference title, ‘I too, remember dust’: Peace-building, Politics and the Arts, was inspired by the poem In the Daytime by Romanian-Jewish Auschwitz survivor Paul Celan.
Distinguished members of the arts world – including the actor and director Richard Wilson and playwright David Edgar – are due to attend alongside eminent academics from the University and beyond, who specialise in peace-politics, arts, culture and the history of the countries of the former Yugoslavia.
“The timing of this important, truly international conference is significant,” said conference organiser Dr Peter Billingham, political playwright and Professor in Modern Drama at the University of Winchester. “The Balkans have long been Europe’s tinderbox – the 1914 assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria in Sarajevo sparked the First World War, and the former Yugoslav conflicts of the 1990s saw genocide on a terrible scale.
“It’s easy to forget that this year is the twentieth anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre. This is a fitting time to bring together delegates from communities on each side of the cultural divide to recognise Bosnia’s central significance as a symbol of wider international conflict, and to strengthen the bridge-building initiatives that have emanated from the region and are so crucial to rekindling a lasting peace both locally and further afield.”
Conference speakers include the Reverend Donald Reeves MBE, Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Winchester, and Reverend Professor June Boyce-Tillman, Professor of Applied Music at the University of Winchester. The Bishop of Tblisi Professor Dr Malkhaz Songulashvili; Lord Raymond Hilton; Susan Curtis-Kojakovic, a UK-based publisher of South Eastern European literature; and Elena Marchevska from London South Bank University are also among the contributors.
‘I too, remember dust’: Peace-building, Politics and the Arts takes place on Monday 7 and Tuesday 8 September at the St Alphege Building, King Alfred Campus, University of Winchester, Sparkford Road, Winchester, Hampshire SO22 4NR. Members of the public are welcome to attend free of charge – for more information and to book a place please visit www.winchester.ac.uk/events
Members of the press are invited to photograph Richard Wilson promptly at 5.30pm. To arrange, please email the Press Office in advance at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01962 827678.