Friday, December 05, 2014

NI Human Rights Festival (8-13 December) drones, Snowdon, film, quizzes & the forces of Fractocracy #NIHRF

The words “human rights” often seem to have special significance – and orange flashing lights around them – when used in Northern Ireland. They’re what people are denied … want … fear … celebrate. If you admit that the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights exists, some will assume you have a well-thumbed copy in your back copy ready to beat them with.

And human rights are confused with civil rights: the former being fundamental rights considered necessary for human existence; the latter rights you enjoy by virtue of citizenship of a particular state.

Northern Ireland’s third Human Rights Festival is running next week from 8th to 13th December.

Monday 8 December

Waltz with Bashir // 8pm // Black Box // £3 // An animated documentary exploring the trauma of war and human right violations as Israeli director Ari Folman reconstructs his own memories of the 1982 invasion of Lebanon through interviews with fellow veterans.

Tuesday 9 December

From War to Surveillance: Human Rights and Drones // 7-8pm // St Mary’s University College // Free // Professor Noel Sharkey (University of Sheffield) specialises in robotics and the ethics of military robotics. In his lecture, he’ll discuss what human rights commitments exist under conditions of war and conflict and the use of new technologies such as drones.

Superhero Pub Quiz // 8pm // Black Box // £5 // Combining superheroes of comic books and human rights, this pub quiz will test if you know Batman from Black Panther, Green Lantern from Green Arrow, Desmond Tutu from Mohandas Gandhi or Eleanor Roosevelt from Aung San Suu Kyi. There’s also a competition for the best comic book or human rights hero costume on the night!

Wednesday 10 December

Human Rights: From Conflict to Transitional Justice // 7-8pm // St Mary’s University College / Free / Ulster University’s Dr Louise Mallinder delivers a lecture examining what role human rights can play in post-conflict societies, and their importance in establishing peaceful and just societies with repaired community relations.

From a Republic of Conscience // 8pm // Sunflower Bar // Free // Inspired by Heaney’s poem, poets will share some of their own work as well a poem on a human rights theme that inspires them.

Thursday 11 December

Global Journalism – Fighting the Challenges // 12-3pm // Linen Hall Library // Free // At least 70 journalists lost their lives at work in 2013; scores were imprisoned unjustly. Syria, Iraq and Egypt are currently some of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist. over the years in Northern Ireland, journalists have been attacked, abused, injured and shot dead too. Local and international speakers – Kevin Cooper, Sarah Hunter (a Belfast photojournalist, based in the Lebanon for five years), Ciarán Ó Maoláin and Eamonn McCann – will discuss the dangers of striving to provide honest, accurate and unbiased reporting.

Love Music Hate Racism // 9pm // Whites Tavern // Free but bring a present // Robocobra Quartet (the sound of hip-hop interpreted by two jazz sax players, a punk drummer/vocalists and the FX-pedal-nerd bass player) supported by Scream Blue Murmer and Thomas Annang. Free admission, but you’re asked to bring a Christmas present for the children of refugees, some tinned food or warm clothes which will be distributed by NICRAS to refugees and asylum seekers in Northern Ireland.

Friday 12 December

I’ll see you in court: ten people silenced by our libel laws // 6.30pm-8pm // Crescent Arts Centre // Free but register for a ticket // Simon Singh and the libel Reform Campaign will outline ten discussions you cannot hear “due to the archaic state of the law of libel”: from scientists sued for casting doubt on dubious treatments, to tennis players and oligarchs.

Saturday 13 December

World Zone // 2-5pm // The Dark Horse // Free // Arts workshops, story-telling and music for children and the families with a sense of adventure and curiosity.

The Feminist Photo Booth // 2-5pm // Black Box // Free // Call into the Black Box and use a range of props, costumes and accessories – along with your inner feminist spirit – to be portrayed and photographed as a feminist icon.

Beware the Agents of Frackocracy // 3pm // Hill Street // Free // The forces of Frackocracy will attempt to take over Hill Street. Expect over the top costumes, music, and caricatures of the fossil fuel industry that make JR Ewing look like a cute bunny! You’re encouraged to defend the public realm from “their reckless ambitions”. Street theatre meets civic education.

CITIZENFOUR // 8.20pm / Queen’s Film Theatre // £6.50 // A portrait of Edward Snowdon filmed in secret in his Hong Kong hotel room as he prepared to become one of the most notorious whistleblowers by exposing global mass-surveillance schemes conducted by the NSA in the US as well as other governments. (Also showing at 6.30pm on Monday 15 December.)

There are also events looking at the legacy of the Magna Carta, children and young people, motherhood, reproductive rights, transgender, travellers, migrant culture, Rwanda, Congo, Kenya, and the Campervan of Dreams.

More details on the NI Human Rights Festival website, Facebook and Twitter @NIHRF.

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