This blog archives some of the key events from IWM’s Build The Truce project (2009-2012). You can’t add comments and queries but you may still contact IWM staff to find out about new projects and related activity. IWM’s website is a good place to start – especially sections on learning and interpretation and national and international projects.
IWM North suffers from an identity crisis. As a museum with the words Imperial and War in the title, some people think that we must be about military campaigns, dates and victories. Nothing could be further from the truth. Yes we do display tanks and guns and bombs and all the paraphernalia of warfare and conflict, but our message is far more challenging and complex.
At Imperial War Museums we believe it is important to communicate the causes, course and consequences of modern conflict in a courageous and authoritative way that is relevant to our audiences and empathetic with people’s experiences. Our reason being – whether we recognise it or not – war has shaped all our lives and continues to do so – some more personally and tragically than others.
We’re delighted – and privileged – to host a panel discussion on neutrality in NGO and peacemaking activities at IWM London on 22 September, as part of our International Peace Day programme.
Starting in Neutral: What does neutrality matter in 21st century humanitarian conflict response? brings together speakers from MSF, Conciliation Resources, the International Committee of the Red Cross and International Alert in a discussion covering the meaning, problems and perceptions around neutrality in conflict and post-conflict zones. Dr Tim Jacoby, Senior Lecturer in Conflict Studies and co-founder of the Humanitarian & Conflict Response Institute at the University of Manchester, will chair what promises to be a lively and fascinating panel discussion. Hope you can join us in the Cinema at 5pm, prepared with any questions for our panellists:
Andy Carl, Executive Director: Conciliation Resources, led the development of programme work in Fiji, Bougainville/Papua New Guinea, northern Uganda, Somaliland and Sri Lanka. Andy previously worked for International Alert (1989–94) on peace initiatives in southern Africa, Europe, Liberia, the Philippines, Colombia, Iraqi-Kurdistan and elsewhere.
Phil Vernon, Director of Programmes: International Alert joined Alert in 2004, having worked on development, humanitarian and peacebuilding programmes for NGOs in different parts of Africa since 1985. Initially a forester by training, living in Rwanda from 1992-94 inspired an interest in peace. He is a member of the Forum on Corporate Responsibility of mining company BHP Billiton, and a trustee of UK-based development NGO BuildAfrica.
Jeroen Jansen: Head of Programmes Unit MSF, took up his current role in 2010. He had worked in the field for MSF from 2002 to 2008 in Afghanistan, Liberia, Nigeria, Darfur, Khartoum and South Sudan. He left MSF to attend the American University in Cairo and obtaining a masters in International Human Rights Law. In 2010 Jansen joined MSF’s London office as head of the Programmes Unit.
Sean Maguire: Spokesperson, International Committee of the Red Cross, broadcasts regularly to explain the ICRC’s policies and operations in zones of conflict. He builds relationships with political, military and civil society stakeholders to generate support for Red Cross humanitarian work in situations of violence. Sean spent 20 years as a correspondent, bureau chief and news editor for Reuters before joining the ICRC in late 2011.
Help us mark the International Day of Peace 2012 – join us at IWM London or IWM North for a programme of film screenings, talks and performances linked to conflict, truce and conflict resolution.
We’ll welcome organisations who work during or after war and conflict, including MSF, International Alert, the British Red Cross, the International Committee of the Red Cross and Conciliation Resources over 21, 22 and 22 September. Find out more about what they do, where, and why in this free event programme. Pick up your Peace Day schedule on the day, but keep an eye out for these highlights of the IWML HIGHLIGHTS and IWMNorth HIGHLIGHTS.
We’ll post more info about the organisations taking part over the next week too. Looking forward to seeing you there!
As Build the Truce goes public with a gallery installation at IWM London and a Big Picture Show at IWM North for July 20th, we’ll be updating the blog regularly so please give us a steer on what you want to know or questions you’d like to ask about IWM’s response to the Olympic Truce.
Meanwhile, here’s our top story from June.
We welcomed special guests to IWM London on June 6.
Lord Michael Bates and Conrad Bailey (Head of Conflict Reduction at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office) joined members of the London Borough Faiths Network at IWM London for a visit to the Build the Truce display. Great to see the gallery so full of visitors – and so many people listening to the eyewitness interview material we’ve collected. Following the viewing, our guests joined me and the BTT co-curator, Dr Tim Jacoby, in a discussion on the Olympic Truce.