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Iamge of Freedom From Torture Logo

Freedom from Torture is the only organisation in the UK dedicated solely to the treatment of torture survivors. It provides medical consultation, forensic documentation of torture, psychological therapies and practical help for people who have survived the most horrific abuses of human rights. In its 25 years, Freedom from Torture has received referrals for over 50,000 people and has opened treatment centres in five major cities to meet the needs of torture survivors dispersed around the UK. Last year, almost 150 people from nearly 40 different countries were referred to Freedom from Torture’s North West centre in Manchester for help. For more information visit www.freedomfromtorture.org

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Following the Working For Peace Expo (September 18 & 19 ), two of the Expo’s participating organisations returned to IWMN last Sunday (September 25) as part of the Stone Flowers performance and album launch.  Stone Flowers are a creative music group supported by  Musicians without Borders and Freedom from Torture NW. They have a been described as “A moving and truthful journey with expressions of protest, peace, love and hope. An original song-cycle in English, Lingala, Farsi, Kurdish, French and Kikongo, influenced by folk, jazz, classical, spoken word and hip-hop music”.

Their music filled the Main Exhibition Space of the museum during two packed performances on Sunday and the audience erupted with applause after each song. Visitors of all ages were gathered to watch the Stone Flowers and comments were left by visitors who said the event was ”really important for thinking about war and peace and supporting survivors”.  The Stone Flowers CD album is available to buy here.

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Dr Alison Ronan is a member of the Research staff at Manchester Metropolitan University who recently completed a doctorate about anti-war women in Manchester 1914-1918. She has experience as a youth and community worker in the NW for 30 years, including volunteer work on a conflict resolution project in the community and in prisons.

Dr Ronan will give a short talk introducing some of Manchester’s pacifist and anti-war women activists, working for peace during the First World War. The talk will outline the astonishing local and national activist networks, often built on the pre-war socialist and suffrage groups in the city; and look at the Manchester branches of the Women’s International League, the No Conscription Fellowship and the short lived but energetic Women’s Peace Crusade in 1917. Central to all these campaigns was the feisty pacifist and feminist reformer, and Manchester’s first woman Councillor, Margaret Ashton (1856-1937)

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Image of Peace Museum logo

The Peace Museum (Bradford) will be describing their work and collections at the WORKING FOR PEACE EXPO at IWM North on Sunday/Monday 18/19 September.

The Peace Museum, the only museum of its kind in the UK, explores, preserves and enhances the heritage of the peace movement, providing inspiring opportunities for people to engage with concepts of peace, cohesion, non-violence and conflict resolution.

The Peace Museum is excited about participating in the Working for Peace Expo and looks forward to sharing the inspiring heritage of the peace movement from its unique collections.  Peace history is in some ways is a ‘hidden history’ because it is not yet well known; the museum aims to uncover this history and make it come alive by sharing stories of incredible daring, fortitude and vision of people who have strived and who are currently working to make the world a better place.

www.peacemuseum.org.uk

Julie Obermeyer
Curator and Manager: The Peace Museum

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Image of IWM North

To mark the International Day of Peace on Wednesday 21 September, Imperial War Museum North opens its doors to organisations ‘working for peace’. The Expo is a chance for visitors to meet representatives from the  Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), Amnesty, Freedom From Torture, Musicians Without Borders, Foundation For Peace and Bradford Peace Museum. These groups will host stalls in the Main Exhibition Space and answer visitors’ questions about their work on Sunday 18 and Monday 19 September 2011, between 10am – 4pm.

This is a fascinating chance to encounter those who work for peace at the heart of the Museum’s exhibition spaces –  if you are interested in coming along, check IWM North’s website for directions:http://north.iwm.org.uk/server/show/nav.27

There will also be short presentations in the Libeskind Rooms at the following times:

  • British Army Presentation Team – Sunday 18 & Monday 19 September at 12.30;
  • Alison Ronan (Manchester Metropolitan University) on Sunday 18 at 1.30;
  • Catharine Hardy (Freedom From Torture) on Sunday 18 at 2.30;
  • Royal Navy Presentation Team on Monday 19 at 1.15;
  • Reginald Kingston (experience with MSF) on Monday 19 at 2.30.

We’ll be updating the blog with more info about the events and the organisations taking part over the next few days.

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