30 January 2007

The Age of Genocide

Genocide Awareness Week which took place parallel to Wellbeing Week, is an event linked to Holocaust Memorial Day and aims to spread and renew awareness about holocaust, genocide and terrorism. I hereby give an overview of the events which took place during the past week:

"The Age of Genocide" - 23 January
was a panel talk hosted by ULU and included the following guest speakers:

_ Professor James Gow, Professor of Int. Peace & Security at KCL, and Co-Director of the Int. Peace and Security Programme was chair of the panel.
_ Eh Htee Kaw, a Karen refugee, talking about his experiences in a Thai refugee camp and showing short film Season of Fear (4.31 min).
_ Mary Kayitesi Blewitt, Founder & Director of Survivor's Fund, gives a talk entitled "Heroes of our Time: Rwandan Courage and Survival" where she also speaks about her and others' experiences concerning Rwanda.
_ Dr James Smith, Director of Aegis Trust, Co-Founder of the UK Holocaust Centre and the Kigali Memorial Centre in collaboration with the Kigali City Council. He also showed the short film Tomorrow is too late (4 min) while talking about the risk of genocide in Darfur.
_ Clare Hope Ashitey, actress from Shooting Dogs (Trailer), giving insights into the film.

This event was highly enlightening but also touching. Unfortunately, Burma got a bit neglected even though all panel speakers actively tried to include Eh Thee. I am sure his account (in English) and his opinion could have been enhanced with a Burmese translator. He obviously had a lot to say on the subject but I assume that his limitations in English was a hurdle for him. Also, there was no-one among the "experts" who was able to provide a complemetary view on the current multilateral political debate on Burma. I am quite a bit disappointed that Southeast Asia is underrepresented again, surely there must be someone from SOAS who would have been willing to contribute on this!

Evening before Holocaust Memorial Day - 26 January
_ Chief Rabbi Dr Jonathan Sacks
_ Holocaust Survivor Mala Tribbich, talking about her experiences as a British Jew during WWII, including her time in a labour camp.
_ Rex Bloomstein, a Jewish filmmaker who will deliver a talk "Confronting the Holocaust, a film maker's journey"

I haven't been to this one, just copied the programme, sorry!

Followed by panel debate "How the Holocaust has affected London and Londoners"
_ Simon Hughes, MP
_ Councillor Penny, Abraham
_ David Peebles, Chaplain of LSE
_ Rabbi Gavin Broder, the University's Rabbinical Chaplain

Haven't been to this one either!

Followed by free film screening of Shooting Dogs

Still trying to get hold of a copy of the film!
By the way, another interesting and maybe more mainstream film on Rwanda is Hotel Rwanda.

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