Building peace through culture: art, memory, landscape, time

Tue 8 - Wed 9 Mar 2022

Online and in person
Hands reaching for faceless pictures
University of Cambridge and online

British Academy Conferences bring together scholars and specialists from around the world to consider and evaluate new research in the humanities and social sciences.

This in-person and online conference will explore emerging avenues of reconciliation and campaigns for transitional justice by focusing on the relationship between art, memory, landscape and time. History is shaped by schematic narratives which often submerge victims’ experiences, diminishing their agency by historicising issues. Art can disrupt this temporal paradigm. We will consider how this can be harnessed in human-rights activism and peacebuilding work.

In countries where disappearances, atrocities and conflicts cause painful experiences of personal and collective trauma, art can intervene in this process, facilitating a dialogic approach to memorialisation, reconciliation, and peacebuilding.

We will discuss textile art such as the Chilean arpilleras and Colombian testimonial textiles, as well as other symbolic representations that are used in campaigns for the disappeared. We will discuss cultural projects that work with peace signatories and victims in post-conflict situations.

We will also reflect on landscape and time, exploring the relationship between memory and public space. This panel will consider the links between memory and the built environment, focusing on the importance of physical spaces in post-conflict situations.

Some of the speakers have an interest in cyberculture, visual representations of military conflicts and digital resources in the field of conflict resolution. In their respective projects they use online mapping tools, digital planning projections and digital art repositories. We hope that our interdisciplinary conference will advance knowledge in fields as wide ranging as cultural studies, art history, politics, history, geography nursing and digital humanities.

This event is taking place in collaboration with the exhibition What lies Beneath: Women Politics Textiles, curated by Naomi Polonsky and Lorna Dillon.

Conference convenor:
Dr Lorna Dillon
, University of Cambridge

Day 1 Speakers


Juana Alicia Ruiz Hernández, Colombian artist from the Tejedoras de Mampuján

Robinson Barría, Chilean sculptor

Naomi Polonsky, Assistant Curator of the New Hall Art Collection

Nengi Omuku, Nigerian artist

Dr Emma Shercliff, Arts University Bournemouth


Dr Iosif Kovras, University of Cyprus

Dr Adrian Grant, Ulster University

Volodymyr Sheiko, Director General of the Ukrainian Institute

Day 2 Speakers


Dr Lorna Dillon, University of Cambridge

Dr Jacqueline Adams, University of California, Berkeley

Professor Marjorie Agosin, Wellesley College

Erika Silva Urbano, Colectivo Memorarte and Universidad de Valparaíso


Professor Claire Taylor, University of Liverpool

Dr Beatriz Arias, University of Antioquia

Professor Berit Bliesemann de Guevara, Aberystwyth University

Dr David Shim, University of Groningen

Isabel González, University of Antioquia and Archivo Digital de Textiles Testimoniales de Colombia

The programme is available online. This conference will have Spanish English interpretation. Interpretación de inglés y español.

Book online tickets using the registration links below.

The in-person element of the conference will be held in Cambridge, UK. If you would like to attend the conference in person, please email [email protected] please note that in-person tickets are limited and will be made available on a first come first served basis.

For any enquiries about this conference contact Dr Lorna Dillon, Murray Edwards College, University of Cambridge [email protected]

Funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)

Image: Memorarte. 2018. ¿Dónde están? Photo by Marcelo Aragonese


Book Day 1

Day 1 will take place on Tuesday 8 March at 14.30 - 17.00 GMT (09.30 in Colombia; 11.30 in Chile)


Book Day 2

Day 2 will take place on Wednesday 9 March at 14.30 - 17.00 GMT (09.30 in Colombia; 11.30 in Chile)

Organised in partnership with:

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