Crows on the Wire set for French conference

The Verbal Arts Centre’s groundbreaking arts and cultural project, Crows on the Wire, will be in the spotlight again at a prestigious international conference in France this week.

Picture for blog story Crows on the Wire set for French conference

Dr Mhairi Sutherland, Community Engagement Facilitator, will address delegates at the ‘Ireland: Shared Futures?’ conference being held at the University of Rennes, Brittany.

Keynote speakers include Prof. John D. Brewer, Professor of Post-Conflict Studies, Queen’s University Belfast; Fergal Keane, BBC journalist and Professorial Fellow at the Institute of Irish Studies, University of Liverpool; and Dr. Piaras MacEinri, Director of the Irish Centre for Migration Studies (ICMS), Department of Geography, University College Cork (UCC).

Dr Sutherland, who will speak at the two-day conference on Friday, said she felt honoured and delighted to be bringing her presentation, 'Transforming Narratives of the Unheard: Crows on the Wire’, to an international audience.

The Crows on The Wire project was created in 2013 to explore the transition of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) to the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) from the human perspective of rank and file officers.

Crows on the Wire toured Northern Ireland as a drama performance in 2013 and delivered a community and schools engagement programme. In 2014, an innovative educational app was created for young people based on the original script by local writer Jonathan Burgess.

Speaking ahead of the conference in Rennes this week, Dr Sutherland said: “The themes of the event - conflict transformation and relations within Ireland, the UK, and with the peoples of the European Union – have a particular resonance within Europe at this moment.

“With keynote speakers such as Fergal Keane and Professor John Brewer, as well as notable contributions from universities across Ireland, the UK and Europe, I am delighted to be bringing the narrative of Crows on the Wire and our Purposeful Storytelling programme to an international audience.”

Dr Sutherland, who also addressed the international Bridging Ages Conference recently in Dundalk, thanked the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin for their support of Crows on the Wire through the Reconciliation Fund.

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