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The Senator George J.Mitchell Institute
for Global Peace, Security and Justice

'Contested Resonances' Conference 29th-30th July 2021

The Cellist of Sarajevo and Other Stories

Emeritus Professor Nigel Osborne MBE

This Presentation* begins with consideration of a historical a progression from art as a celebration of conflict, through art as propaganda, to art as a reflection of the human "truths" and emotional narrative of war, and finally to art as opposition to conflict.

Professor Osborne describes case studies of his own experiences of music, sound art and the transformation of conflict, beginning with the Committee for the Defence of the Workers and the Polish Radio Experimental Studio in Poland in the 1970s, music and the Taganka Theatre during the Soviet period in Moscow, the Jazz Section of the Czechoslovak Musicians Union and the Velvet Revolution, and music as truth, identity, the common life and cultural resistance during the siege of Sarajevo.

It ends with an account of the role of music in supporting children who are victims of conflict, including a description of a methodology based on a bio- psycho-social model, and a short film made by Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens) about Nigel's work with Syrian refugee children in the Beqaa Valley, Lebanon.

*Please note, all presentations are for academic and research viewing purposes only and cannot be posted in the public domain or used in part or full on any other media platforms or social media sites.   All rights are reserved and held by Participants. For more information regarding licensing/permisssions usage and queries, please contact our Project Manager, Christina Captieux  

The Conference was organised as part of the AHRC/ESRC funded Partnership for Conflict, Crime and Security Research project Sounding Conflict: From Resistance to Reconciliation 2017-2021. 


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The Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice
Queen's University Belfast
18-19 University Square
United Kingdom
T: +44 (0)208 9097 3413 / 3740