This is the latest in a series of Mitchell Institute speaker events promoting dialogues on themes in peace, security and justice which engage with the wide-ranging, interdisciplinary research interests of Institute Fellows and PhD students.
Dr Stephen Millar (Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, Cardiff University)
Dr Jim Donaghey (Research Fellow, HAPP/‘Sounding Conflict’ project, Mitchell Institute)
Dr Zeynep Bulut (Lecturer in Music, QUB)
Series Convenor: Dr Zaheer Kazmi
Music has long played a role in promoting peace as well as fostering conflict. This event will explore its place in political activism from a variety of perspectives. What role do traditional ballads play in legitimising paramilitary violence in Northern Ireland? How has punk music in Belfast evolved to critically engage with anti-sectarianism and capitalism? And, looking beyond the Troubles, what can experimental music associated with the Fluxus collective tell us about alternative forms of radical peace activism?
Dr Stephen Millar will talk about how, during the Troubles, paramilitary groups were supported and sustained by a sociocultural apparatus that helped legitimise their position within the community and disseminate their political message. Focusing on ‘The Ballad of Billy McFadzean’, he will illustrate the political utility of song and how this can be used to launder and legitimise conflict, as well as those engaged in political violence. Find out more about Stephen here.
Dr Jim Donaghey will discuss how punk has provided an anti-sectarian alternative culture in Northern Ireland - the Troubles provided the impetus for an ‘Alternative Ulster’, but the stuttering shift beyond conflict has changed what oppositional identities look like. Punk’s positioning within (and against) the conflict-warped terrain of Belfast will be examined, especially highlighting punk’s contemporary critical counter-narrative to the sectarian and neoliberal ‘peace’. Find out more about Jim here.
Dr Zeynep Bulut will widen the discussion of music and politics beyond the Troubles. Taking Bells for Peace, a recent performance by Yoko Ono in Manchester, as a point of departure, she will explore the wider Fluxus movement. As a form of experimental and radical music, Fluxus transgresses conventional categories, leading us to think about the nature of peace activism and societal critique in the everyday. Find out more about Zeynep here.
Rebel Music: Peace, Conflict and (Counter-) Culture Beyond the Troubles
This event is free and is open to all QUB staff and students.
To book your place please RSVP to the Mitchell Institute at firstname.lastname@example.org by noon on Friday 6 December.