This talk was given as part of the Oxford Transitional Justice Research (OTJR) Seminar Series. This panel discussion explores the role of art in transitional justice and the depiction of transitional justice through art.
We are joined by panellists Leslie Thomas, Bernadette Vivuya and Nadia Siddiqui. The event was co-organised with the Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict. Leslie Thomas is the founder of ART WORKS Projects, an Emmy-award winning art director, architect, and mother. Current projects include directing The Prosecutors, curating a touring exhibition on ending female genital mutilation for the United Nations, and co-editing a book of photography on the impact of war on children in Syria. She is in pre-production on a narrative feature on women’s rights and in development on a film about the movement for Irish independence. Her multi-media human rights focused work has toured across five continents in major policy, academic, and cultural settings and been the recipient of grants from The National Endowment for the Arts, the MacArthur Foundation, the Open Society Foundations, the International Labour Organization, and many other major philanthropic institutions. Leslie is a graduate of Columbia University and the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. Bernadette Vivuya is a visual journalist and filmmaker based in Goma, Eastern DRC. She is an alumnus in “Social justice photography: Decomposing the colonial gaze” led by Yole! Africa. She reports on issues related to human rights, the environment and the exploitation of raw materials, bearing witness to the resilience and transcendence of the people in this conflict-affected region. She most recently directed the short documentary 'Letter to my Child from Rape', which brings to the screen the powerful words of poet-advocate Désanges Kabuo as she braves prejudice to claim a future for the child she bore as a result of sexual violence. Nadia Siddiqui is a cross-disciplinary researcher and writer interested in the links between cultural practice, social dynamics, and justice. As a co-director at Social Inquiry, she leads research exploring identities and belonging in displacement (and return), measuring social cohesion, and understanding what reconciliation and accountability mean to communities. She has previously worked with Oxfam, the Middle East Research Institute, the Afghanistan Analysts Network, the Applied Theatre Collective, and the International Center for Transitional Justice, among others. Nadia has also helped produce art/design events in New York City that have garnered national and international attention. She holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Michigan and an MSc. in Evidence-Based Social Interventions from the University of Oxford.