A photojournalist who was blown up whilst on patrol with the US army in Afghanistan will be amongst the speakers at a peace conference in Londonderry.
Giles Duley, who was severely injured by an improvised explosive device (IED) and whose journalistic focus has been on humanitarian projects, has had his work featured in Vogue, GQ, Esquire and Rolling Stone.
His ‘One Second of Light’ exhibition will be shown at the ‘Hope Beyond Hurt’ conference at the Holywell-Diverscity Community Partnership in Bishop Street over April 15 and 16.
Other participants include Palestinian UNICEF consultant Laila Atshan and Tyrone film-maker Mairéad McClean, whose most recent video ‘No More’ won the inaugural MAC International Art Prize.
Ms McClean will be joined by her father Paddy-Joe McClean, one of the ‘Hooded Men.’
Teya Sepinuck, the founder of Theatre of Witness; Steve Wessler, who works internationally with law enforcement agencies, NGOs and communities on conflict resolution; and Phil Wood, Principal Advisor to the Council of Europe’s ‘Intercultural Cities’ project, who specialises in transformation of post-industrial cities through physical infrastructure, will also be taking part.
Helen Quigley, CEO of Inner City Trust, said: “The City Centre Garden of Reflection is a unique project which will transform a derelict and underused space into a shared space in the heart of the City Centre.
“We envisage that the garden will be accessed by those who live in the City, as well as attracting visitors from all over Northern Ireland and beyond. “The Peace Bridge has been a phenomenal success and our vision for the Garden of Reflection is to be a new bridge, an ‘urban bridge’ that helps reintegrate our communities in the City Centre and evolves into a natural meeting point for all our citizens.
“The underlying concept behind the Garden is to create an inspiring shared space where everyone will feel welcome to reflect, meet, engage and relax. As part of that the ‘Hope Beyond Hurt’ conference, which will highlight some incredibly powerful and sometimes difficult personal stories, will help us to reflect on how individuals and communities can better accommodate each other.”
Eamonn Deane, Chairperson of Holywell Trust, added: “Holywell Trust has been involved in peace-building for over 25-years, but the Garden of Reflection and the ‘Hope Beyond Hurt’ conference are the most exciting and ambitious projects which we have embarked on.
“The conference is an opportunity for policy makers and peace influencers to examine themes such as international conflict, peace and reconciliation with people who have been at the sharp end of some of the most destructive conflicts of recent times.
“Peacebuilding doesn’t happen by accident, it takes hard work, compromise and people of goodwill. In Derry we have seen the out-workings of that commitment in many areas, but peacebuilding is a process, not a one-off occurrence.
“We are delighted to welcome so many highly regarded speakers to Northern Ireland, drawn from the worlds of journalism, the arts, urban development and conflict resolution. Northern Ireland’s troubled past is not unique, but this conference will help provide some global perspectives on how we can build a truly shared society.”
For more information visit www.gardenofreflection.org