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Performing Violence 2021 Conference Speakers

Alex Sutherland: co-I #ImaginingOtherwise

Alex’s role at Tshisimani involves developing arts-based pedagogies for political education with grass roots movements and organisations as well as supporting these movements to incorporate the arts in campaigns, education and activism. She was an Associate Professor at Rhodes University Drama department from 2001- 2017, where she taught theatre for social and political change, post-colonial and South African theatre, and feminist performance practices. She has facilitated international theatre projects with street involved youth and a long-term project with men in prisons and in a forensic psychiatric hospital that incorporated popular education and theatre processes for political expression. She worked closely with student movements and cultural activists in the Eastern Cape and is passionate about the possibilities of arts and culture in social change.


Aylwyn Walsh: PI #ImaginingOtherwise

Aylwyn Walsh is Associate Professor of Performance and Social Change at the University of Leeds in the School of Performance and Cultural Industries. She is Director of Postgraduate Reserach Studies, programme leader of the MA in Applied Theatre & Intervention and artistic director of Ministry of Untold Stories. Her book Prison Cultures, maps performance, resistance and desire in women’s prisons (Intellect, 2019). She's recently exhibited work on 'deviant women' in Rijeka's Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art and Smoqua festival, Croatia


Chiara Camozzi:

My name is Chiara Camozzi , I was born in Milan, Italy and I'm and architect by profession. I also hold a master’s degree in architecture and Urban planning in fragile contexts at Politecnico of Milan. After working for several years in slums upgrading projects in Kenya, since 2014 I have been

working for the italian NGO CISP and I coordinated projects in the cultural and creative sector mainly in Somalia. During this time, I had the opportunity to discover and use different Arts for Social Change methodologies to promote inclusion, in particular with vulnerable and marginalized people.  This has been a very enriching experience for me since I could experiment new approaches, work with very experienced and passionate facilitators, meet beautiful people, listen to their intimate and touching stories, and witness the transformative power of arts. I also learnt a lot during this process, both at personal and professional level. Currently I am the culture and communication advisor for CISP Somalia and Kenya programs and I keep on looking for new opportunities to apply these methodologies in different contexts and sectors.


Abdulkadir Mohamed:

My name is Abdulkadir Mohamed , and Ato is my nickname.

I’m the Culture and Communication Field Coordinator at CISP Somalia since 2014 and I managed different projects in the field of culture and creativity as a means to build peace and inclusion. I was born and raised in Mogadishu and I lived in Canada for more than two decades. I came back to Somalia in 2014 and I’ve not left. I’ve a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and a Master's Degree in International Management with Emphasis in Geopolitics. I’m also a Self-taught Documentary Photographer and I work and mentor young upcoming artists. I’m passionate about photography, arts and community mobilization for social justice and human rights.

The Visual and Embodied Methodologies Network at King’s College London (VEM, 2019) creates spaces of knowledge-exchange and research excellence around visual, embodied and art-based methodologies within, across and beyond Social Sciences. VEM believes that in using these methodologies lies the potential for co-produced forms of knowledge, opening possibilities to explore otherwise difficult to articulate issues.


Ivana Bevilacqua:

PhD candidate and Graduate Teaching Assistant in Human Geography at the University of King’s College London. Ivana’s research explores the entanglement of settler colonialism and racial capitalism in shaping space, memory, and forms of citizenship and recognition in Palestine/Israel. Ivana is a collaborator of the Visual Embodied Methodologies Network and has produced counter-cartographic short-movies and organized multi-sensory exhibitions in the UK alongside the Arab Center for Alternative Planning and the Popular Committee of Wadi Ara. 


Jelke Boesten:

Professor in Gender and Development at the Department of International Development (DID), King’s College London. She has written extensively on sexual violence in war and in peace, social policy and politics, and gender-based violence in Latin America. Her latest book co-edited book (with Helen Scanlon, UCT) is Gender and Memorial Arts: from Symbolic Reparations to Protest Movement (2021). She is the convenor of the Gender Studies Network at King’s, and co-lead on the Visual and Embodied Methodologies Network. She also hosts


Andrea Espinoza Caraval:

Feminist researcher focusing on women’s rights in Latin America, particularly in Ecuador and the Andean region. Her work aims to understand how women interact with laws, development projects, and formal institutions. She is interested in how women react, adapt, and/or normalise behaviours to survive, endure or disrupt hierarchical and subordinative power structures. Currently, Andrea teaches Gender and International Politics at the Department of War Studies, king’s College London.


Tiffany Fairey:

Research Fellow in the Department of War Studies at King’s College London.  Co-Founder of PhotoVoice,she has 20+ years’ experience working with participatory visual methods as a practitioner and academic.  Her Leverhulme Fellowship research, Imaging Peace, focuses on the role of images and image-making in building peace and dialogue.  Other recent research projects include Art & Reconciliation and Izazov and Fairey is also Photovoice Associate at Everyday Peace Indicators. Her work has been recognised with various awards including the Royal Photographic Society’s Hood Medal for outstanding advance in photography for public service (2010). Rosa dos Ventos Heimer is a PhD Candidate in Geography at King’s College London. She holds a BSc in Sociology from UFBA and an MSc in Gender, Policy and Inequalities from the LSE. Through a decolonial feminist approach to knowledge production, her doctoral research explores the ways in which coloniality is embedded in the ways in which Latin American migrant women experience intimate partner violence, starting from the body as their first territory-scale.


Mary Ann Vargas:

Peruvian theatre and performance practitioner currently completing an art-based PhD with the Language Acts and Working project, at King’s College London. Central to her research are the following questions. How do Latin Americans living in London re-enact belonging away from home?  How do the colonial legacies entangled in our repertoires inform the ways in which we assert the right to settle elsewhere? How can performance practices, such as song making, puzzle narratives that justify exclusionary claims to belong?


Maya Weisinger:

Maya Weisinger earned her master’s degree at the Willy Brandt School of Public Policy in Erfurt, Germany in the autumn of 2020. She is a community engagement specialist with a particular focus on projects at the intersection of social justice and the arts. She currently is a Project Coordinator with Culture Action Europe, a European network organization, focusing on informed opinion and debate about arts and cultural policy in the EU. 

Before her work and research in Europe, she worked for ten years in the non-profit sector in the United States, focusing on ways of using art and creativity as pathways to diversity, equity and inclusion. As the Community Partnerships Coordinator at the Walker Art Center she created strategic policy focused on breaking down structural barriers that have traditionally marginalized people of color, indigenous and immigrant communities, and disabled individuals from large cultural institutions. Her current research focuses on the implementation of arts-based projects in the peacebuilding field.


Stephen Oola:

Oola is the co-founder and Director of Amani Institute Uganda, a research think-tank based in Gulu District, northern Uganda. Currently, Oola is the Senior Advisor on Legal and Constitutional Affairs at the Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (RJMEC) Juba, South Sudan overseeing the implementation of the Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS) 2018. Oola was the Legal Counsel for the IGAD High-Level Mediation for South Sudan and drafted the revitalised Peace Agreement for South Sudan. As an intern at the ICTJ in Cape Town in 2010, Oola authored the first draft of the African Union Transitional Justice Policy Framework. Oola is an Advocate (Attorney) in the High Court of Uganda. Oola was head of the Conflict, Transitional Justice and Governance Program at the Refugee Law Project (RLP), School of Law, Makerere University in Kampala (2013-2016). Oola also led the Research and Advocacy Department at RLP from 2010-2012 and conducted a countrywide national reconciliation and transitional justice audit in Uganda published as the Compendium of Conflicts in Uganda 2015. Oola holds a LLB (Hons) Degree from Makerere University, Master of Arts in International Peace Studies from the University of Notre Dame, USA. His research interest and expertise are on Human Rights, Constitutional Law, International Criminal Law, Transitional Justice, Post-Conflict Peacebuilding, Reconstruction and Development in Africa.


Lucy Geddes:

Australian human rights lawyer and gender justice specialist. She was previously the head of Legal Action Worldwide’s Sri Lanka office and was based in Sri Lanka. Prior to this, Lucy worked across the civil and criminal law teams at Victoria Legal Aid as well as in private practice. Lucy clerked for Chief Justice Mogoeng of the Constitutional Court of South Africa and for Justice Tarfusser of the International Criminal Court. She was awarded best overall performance in her Masters in Women, Peace and Security at the London School of Economics, which she completed as a Lionel Murphy Scholar. She has been published in a variety of forums on topics such as the Women, Peace and Security Agenda, gender and reparations, international criminal law and transitional justice.


Shyamala Gomez:

Sri Lankan human rights lawyer by training and has over twenty years’ experience as

an academic, researcher and activist. She is the founder and Executive Director of the Centre for Equality and Justice (CEJ), a leading women’s organisation in Sri Lanka. Shyamala has an LLB from the University of Colombo and a Masters in Law from Georgetown University, Washington DC. She has published in the areas of violence against women, masculinities, sexual violence in conflict, migrant workers’ rights, women’s land

rights, reproductive rights and on women, peace and security.


Esther Dingemans:

Leading expert on developing and implementing survivor-centred programmes addressing conflict-related sexual violence. Esther is Executive Director at the Global Survivors Fund and the founding Director and Special Advisor to the Dr. Denis Mukwege Foundation where she developed the organisation’s work on holistic care for survivors of conflict-related sexual violence, and on uniting survivors to speak out and to organise globally in the SEMA network. Prior to this, Esther worked for NGOs and UN agencies in Guinea, Egypt, Ivory Coast, Sudan (Darfur), Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Libera, Sierra Leone and Syria, where she led humanitarian programmes in the field of sexual and gender-based violence. Her specific areas of expertise include community-driven projects and processes, capacity-building, holistic care for survivors and survivor-centred reparations.

Fathima Azmiya Badurdeen:

Lecturer at the Department of Social Sciences, Technical University of Mombasa. She has taken a keen interest in the sociological analysis of recruitment for terrorist networks, insurgency movements and violent extremism. From 2009 onwards, she has worked in Sri Lanka on issues related to peacebuiding and post conflict development. Since 2012, she has worked in Kenya as an academic and practitioner in the field of countering violent extremism. Her recent research work on women and violent extremism has been published online: “Women who volunteer: a relative autonomy perspective in Al-Shabaab female recruitment in Kenya, Critical Studies on Terrorism (2020)”.


Xavier Verhoest:

Born in DR Congo in 1964, studied film editing in Belgium. In 1992, he joined Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) as a volunteer and worked until 2003 in Palestine, Somalia, Burundi, Rwanda and other conflicts torn countries. He lives today in Kenya. In 2006 he co-founds Art2Be, an organization made of artists, researchers, psychologists, activists who believe in Art for Positive Living and Social Changes that can model the possibility of a respectful and caring environment where co-existence rather than rejection can prevail. Peace Building, Belonging, Inclusion, Identities, gender equality, fighting stigma and discrimination and personal growth are some of the core aspects of Art2be projects. Art2Be work creatively using different methods - Body Mapping, Photo Voice, Hero book, Films, Public Art, Books, Exhibitions – to allow people to tell their life stories, to fight for their rights, to share their concerns and aspirations and challenges prejudices and established ways of thinking and doing. Art2Be work with vulnerable groups like IDP’s, refugees, minority clans, youth communities, elders, children, orphans, women victims of violence, people living with HIV/Aids, Sexual Minorities, Commercial Sex Workers among others.

Helin Celik:

(born in 1991) Interdisciplinary artist working at the intersection between film, language, politics and poetry who lives and works in Vienna. She was born and grown up in Turkey and has immigrated to Austria in the age of 18. She completed her Bachelor's studies in Literature at the University of Vienna and is currently finishing her diploma in the field of Art and Digital Media at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and in the field of Art Therapy at Viennese School of Art Therapy. Her works embody a visual style that is lyrical and intimate. In her works, she treats different geographies of political struggle and tries to expand the imaginative and creative possibilities of media-making as a practice for furthering transnational political and social justice. She strives to unpack the relationship between political and cinematographic memory by blending personal history and using new visual grammars. From 2013 to 2015, she has worked in remote villages across Palestine, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt with young women and children and has organized the first filmmaking festival in Jenin, Palestine in 2013.  With her first feature documentary „What the wind took away“, she has participated in different film and video festivals in Turkey, Austria, USA, Canada, Germany, Sweden, Czech Republic and Taiwan and received different awards including the FIPRESCI –International Critics Prize in 2019. She is currently working on her second feature length documentary “Verborgene Räume - Converting Spaces, Converting Reveries"

Nicholas Songora Odoll: 

Progressive change maker; Secretary to the United States Institute of Peace-USIP’s, Youth Advisory Council-YAC. A coordinator elect for the civil society network in the Coastal region of Kenya. He is a member of the Mombasa County PCVE engagement forum; Leading the Economic Pillar and Chairs the Monitoring and Evaluation Committee. An
active Delegate for the African Union’s Economic, Social & Cultural Council (ECOSOCC) Committee. He is a founder and Executive Director of Manyatta Youth Entertainment CBO (MAYE); an Arts for Social Change, not-for-profit, youth-led, organization in the coastal counties of Kenya. The organization aims to provide young people from fragile communities with a viable platform to openly discuss and address issues that affect them and their communities. MAYE has been involved in the areas of peace building and conflict transformation, social accountability, civic engagement, and social justice using creative arts, innovation, and technology as mode of communication. MAYE addresses issues around gender-based violence, violent extremism, and armed juvenile crime. Nicholas is also the founder of ANIKA Community Media; an online audio-visual media platform managed by young people. The platform focuses on sharing the untold stories within the community such as narratives on social accountability and highlighting emerging leaders’ struggles and success stories.

He recently founded Anika Community Hub, A youth-friendly, safe space championing arts, culture, and innovation as alternative livelihoods and dispute resolution mechanisms against violence. Nicholas is also an Associate Fellow of the Royal Commonwealth Society, A generation global Change fellow under USIP, A Goldin Global Fellow under the Goldin Institute, and An active 2021 Accountapreneur under the Accountability Lab.

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