Celebrating the Pursuit of Peace at Aberystwyth University
21 September 2023
Academics, peace campaigners and members of the public will gather to explore the ‘pursuit of peace’ at a series of events led by Aberystwyth University.
Taking place from 1-7 November, The Pursuit of Peace is the theme of the University’s 2023 Festival of Research.
The week-long event features a wide-ranging programme of community-friendly, free activities - including themed panels, discussions and talks, poetry and art, film screenings, research exhibits and interactive workshops.
The programme will celebrate the individuals, groups, and ideas that have shaped peace-making in the past and explore some of the many ways that we can create a peaceful future.
The events include a keynote conversation with Belfast-based peace activist, Eileen Weir, who has worked with the Shankill Women’s Centre since the 1990s. She has built bridges across political, religious and other divides throughout the island of Ireland and campaigned for the rights of ordinary people to live in peace and dignity. Eileen will reflect on a lifetime of personal experiences at the heart of the community activism that laid the foundations for political change in Northern Ireland.
Another feature of the Festival of Research will be the launch of Yr Apêl/The Appeal 1923-24 at the National Library of Wales. Co-edited by Aberystwyth University academics Professor Mererid Hopwood and Dr Jenny Mathers, this book tells the extraordinary story of the Welsh Women’s Peace Appeal. A hundred years ago, women across Wales collected 390,296 signatures in an appeal addressed to the women of America to work together for a more peaceful world. The petition, in its specially-designed oak chest, was returned from the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. earlier this year and is now housed at the National Library.
Dr Jenny Mathers from Aberystwyth University’s Department of International Politics, one of the organisers of the programme, said:
“As we face global health challenges, wars in Europe and other continents, and the pressing forces of climate emergency, this is an important time to focus on peace as an essential pursuit for humanity. As well as being inspired by peace campaigners from the past, these events and activities will be an opportunity for academics, campaigners and citizens to come together to seek solutions to the problems we face today, and help us pursue more peaceful futures.”
Aberystwyth University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Elizabeth Treasure added:
“We warmly invite members of the public from Aberystwyth and beyond to join us for these events. Attendees will have the opportunity to engage in thought-provoking dialogue, delve into fascinating research and ideas with Aberystwyth University academics whose work is making a real difference to people’s lives, and to unite to explore ways to foster peace and harmony in our lives, our community, and in our wider world. There really is something for everyone, and we hope you will get involved.”
Events and activities on the programme include panel discussions on topics such as paths to peace in the 21st century and possibilities for peace in Ukraine; an exploration of the connections between peace and Welsh literature; discussions on the contributions of theatre, drama and film to the pursuit and understanding of peace; and a creative writing workshop.
There will also be multi-media exhibits on peace-related research at Aberystwyth University into topics such as food security, the experiences of war refugees and the contributions that computer science can make to happier and more peaceful lives.
Local organisations are leading a volunteer fair and a fundraising concert for AberAid and Ukraine Train.
The wealth of events and activities involved in The Pursuit of Peace is made possible through collaboration with partners including the National Library of Wales, the Ceredigion Museum, Academi Heddwch, and the Ceredigion Association of Volunteer Organisations.
Events will be hosted by the National Library and the Ceredigion Museum, as well as at locations across the University.
To see the whole programme and to register for free tickets, visit: