The role played by cultural producers in remembering and combatting wartime rape has been at the forefront of the public agenda in recent years. This conference seeks to explore this conjuncture through an analysis of international cultural responses to wartime rape and their impact.

How have cultural works shaped, supplemented, intervened in, or challenged public discourses about sexual violence in conflict zones? In what way are creative works able to expose gaps, challenge biases, and illuminate ambiguities within official human rights narratives? How do creative exercises address and potentially attenuate the lasting effects of wartime sexual violence on individuals and communities? What contribution can art make to long-term processes of truth-seeking, justice, and reconciliation? And to what extent is the aesthetic experience particularly suited to provoking remembrance, empathy, and activism?

References to the aesthetic in the context of atrocity are always uncomfortable and raise unavoidable questions about the ethics of representation. This conference wishes to foreground these issues by addressing, amongst other things: representation and the potential for sensationalism, ideological appropriation, and obfuscation; unintended audience responses and the limitations of cultural representation or advocacy; the power dynamics of representation; and the risks of re-traumatizing and reifying victims inherent in acts of representing trauma.

Full programme available at:

As part of the conference, we will be welcoming Oscar-nominated director Juanita Wilson to Maynooth on Monday 19th June at 18:30 for a free screening of As If I am not there (2010) and a Q&A on the making of the film.

Monday, June 19, 2017 – 00:00 to Tuesday, June 20, 2017 – 00:00
Iontas Seminar Room