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2012 Events

Performing Truth and Justice

Analysing truth commissions through the lens of performance

Workshop @ the University of Warwick, 16th of November 2012

There have been over 40 truth commissions held around the world since the mid-1970s, with truth commissions now standing as one of most common tools of transitional justice. This one-day workshop, which will be held in London on 16 November 2012, will analyse truth commissions through the lens of performance. Here ‘performance’ is understood both as embodied, oral ways of conveying knowledge (including songs, dances, gestures), and behaviour that is rehearsed (for example, behaviour defined by its context, whether by a law court, or sports field).

The workshop will focus on the following questions:

What do truth commissions perform, to and for whom, and for what ends? What is the role and rationale of having different kinds of hearings (for example, public, women’s, thematic, institutional, or in-camera hearings)? How are identities (gendered, generational, ethnic, racial, class, religious, etc) performed during and through truth commissions? How do truth commissions ‘stage’ the past in relation to the present, and how is this related to plans for, or imaginings of the future? How do the embodied live events of public hearings relate to final reports and documentation and to what these archives come to represent? How a better understanding of these performative aspects of truth commissions may transfer to other kinds of engagements in conflict resolution, for example, community arts projects, artistic engagements with law, and government agencies who work in comparable contexts?

The workshop will consist of three panels and one roundtable, and is organised by Yvette Hutchison (Associate Professor of Theatre, Performance and Cultural Policy Studies, Warwick) and Gabrielle Lynch (Associate Professor of Comparative Politics, Warwick) as part of a series of workshops convened by the University of Warwick Politics and Performance Network. Abstracts should be sent to Gabrielle Lynch ( by 21 September 2012.

Workshop on Law and Visual Culture

Workshop @ the School of Law at Birckbeck College, 16th of November 2012


The School of Law Birkbeck is hosting a workshop with Ruth Herz. The focus of the event is her new book, ‘The Art of Justice: The Judge’s Perspective’. This book
presents a unique and intriguing collection of drawings of courtroom scenes by Judge Pierre Cavellat. Throughout a 40-year judicial career in one of France's more
important regional appellate courts, Cavellat produced hundreds of illuminating drawings and paintings depicting the court proceedings and also the main actors: the
prosecutors, defence counsel, his fellow judges, the defendants, witnesses, policemen, the general public, as well as the courtroom itself and its architecture.
The images reveal, in a candid and immediate fashion the deeply hidden emotions, ambiguities and fantasies of a judge going about his work. The author, a judge
herself, interprets the images through the lens of her own judicial experience, exploring how judges think and act and how their thinking is constructed through
their education, professional training, gender and class. In doing so she exposes how personal background, history and experience play an additional, sometimes
conflicting, role in 'judgecraft'.

Discussants include:

Antoine Garapon, a Judge and Director of the Institut des hautes études sur la justice Paris.

David Isaac, partner and head of the Advanced Manufacturing & Technology Services group in the London based international law firm ‘Pinsent Masons LLP’.

Leslie Moran, Professor in the School of Law, Birkbeck. Linda Mulcahy, Professor in the Law Department at the London School of Economics.

Shirin Rai, Professor in the Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Warwick.

Gary Watt, Professor of Law at Warwick University’s School of Law.

The workshop provides an opportunity for judges, scholars and legal practitioners, in a variety of disciplines, to discuss the themes of the book.

More information about the book

Places are limited. If you want to attend please contact Valerie Kelley,

Gender, Power, Representation and Performance

Workshop @ the University of Warwick, 2nd of November 2012

2-5pm, Wolfson Research Exchange, The Library

You are warmly invited to attend the first Centre for the Study of Women and Gender workshop of the year. It is entitled ‘Gender, Power, Representation and Performance’ and is on Friday 2 November, 2-5pm, Wolfson Research Exchange, The Library (University of Warwick).

Speakers will include:

Rima Najdi, performance artist, Beirut/Berlin: ‘Confession #1: Stereotypes about Arab Women’

Kate Sagovsky, director & movement director/choreographer, teacher & workshop facilitator, London: Practical session: ‘Everyday Performances of Gender’

Gabrielle Lynch, PAIS, Warwick: ‘Representing Women, Performing Justice? Kenya’s Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission and the role of Women’s Forums’

All are welcome and entry is free. But please email Jane Cooper ( to register as places are limited.

Afghan Monologues

A free performance @ the Belgrade Theatre, 1st of November 2012

To mark the beginning of Coventry Peace Festival 2012, on THURSDAY NOVEMBER 1st, there will be a performance of AFGHAN MONOLOGUES by the acclaimed London theatre company ICE AND FIRE, at 7.30pm, in the BELGRADE THEATRE.

Admission is FREE.

This event is organised by the Coventry Stop the War Coalition.

Further information from:

Paul McGowan
024 7667 4495

The Political Aesthetics of Power and Protest

Workshop @ the University of Warwick 25th of September 2012

This one-day workshop, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, is structured around the technologies and sites of power and protest. The challenges to dominant models of aesthetics instituted by the state and historically legitimized, come in different forms and expressions. Protest movements and contesting groups are as sensitive to the style in which their demands are asserted as to the substance of their politics. The diffusion of these new forms of aesthetics through mediatization alert us to the importance and pervasiveness of politics today.

Democracy requires a constant renewal of forms – sets of symbols or an aestheticisation of political language, which appeals to people and instils in them a sense of belonging and identification. It does not function through command or coercion. The increasing disenchantment and disillusion with the state, with political institutions and their practices and performance makes it more important to explore the place of aesthetics of power as well as of protest. The widespread movements of resistance and rejection of state power also project ideas through aesthetic modes and make the question of the everyday symbolism of politics more urgent to explore.

Contributions to this workshop deal with the categories of political icons and symbols, art, dress and fashion, theatre and spaces of performance of power and protest from different disciplinary and theoretical standpoints.

The proceedings of the workshop will be published as either as an edited volume or as a special issue of a journal. Confirmed speakers include Louise Amoore, Christine Battersby, Roland Bleiker, Rebecca Brown, Manuela Ciotti, Oliver Davies, Simonetta Falesca- Zamponi , Laragh Larsen, L.H.M. Ling, Alice Mah, Partha Mitter, Les Moran, Hilary Pilkington, Nirmal Puwar, Maria Tamboukou, Rashmi Varma

Organisers: Prof. Shirin M. Rai (University of Warwick) and Prof. Arundhati Virmani (Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Marseille)