Post-war press and creative freedom

1 December 2013,
11:15 to 15:45

Advance bookings have closed. Tickets will be available on the door. Payment by cash or cheque only. Please arrive by 11:05 if you need to buy a ticket.

A one-day seminar exploring the global challenges of re-establishing a free press and creative expression after conflict and dictatorship.

In nations that have been torn apart by conflict or have been repressed by totalitarian dictatorships, how do the people establish a free and independent press? 
What part does credible public information and free expression play in rebuilding a country and preventing a return to violence?
How can people and organisations respond in a creative way to the destruction and brutality they have faced?
What can we, as nations, organisations and individuals do to help and support the development of a free press and creativity in these situations?

This one-day seminar, brought to you by Redeye and the IWM North, will seek to answer these questions through a series of talks and panel discussion. The day will feature presentations from Iraq-based photo agency Metrography, Manchester based social entrepreneur and researcher Ruth Daniel and journalist and journalism activist Aidan White.

Metrography’s mission is to establish a thriving photography and photojournalism industry in Iraq that breaks down ethnic, cultural, and religious barriers; fosters peer-to-peer collaboration and learning; and celebrates Iraq’s diversity and history by telling its story through editorial and commercial photography, videography, and multimedia productions. Metrography invests in ongoing training for its photographer network to ensure a sustainable photography industry.

Metrography’s talk will cover:

  • Setting up Metrography and the desire of the Iraqi people for a free and independent press
  • Recruiting and training photographers
  • The focus of Metrography’s work – highlighting other stories from Iraq away from conflict.
  • The experience of working as a photographer in Iraq
  • The future – Metrography’s Fellowship for training further Iraqi photographers

Aidan White
Aidan White is Director of the Ethical Journalism Network, a global campaign in support of ethics, good governance and self-regulation in journalism and the media. For over two decades he was the General Secretary of the International Federation of Journalists. He is committed to new and innovative ways to support independent journalism and the promotion of journalists' rights. He is an expert with deep understanding of issues related to media policy and journalism standards and has helped launch major international groups in support of press freedom and journalists' safety. Over a period of 30 years he has initiated programmes of support for journalists including professional training, association and union building, humanitarian support and raising awareness of the dangers facing media and journalists across the world.

 Aidan’s talk will cover:

  • The challenges faced by journalism in the immediate aftermath of war – creating credible public information that encourages nation building and prevents a return to violence.
  • The acuteness of the challenge in post-civil war environments with case studies from Rwanda, Bosnia and Northern Island
  • The need to build a national infrastructure for free media and the difficulties of this when the media have been party to conflicts, with case studies from Kosovo, Iraq, Liberia and Cambodia.

In Place of War
In Place of War – Art and Media in response to disaster, conflict and war is a Times Higher Award winning research project based at The University of Manchester; it represents and researches artists in sites of armed conflict, revolution and emergency. In Place of War is involved in the mobility of artists from sites of conflict around the world into world-class festivals and events and helping those artists tell their stories on the global stage.

In Place of War’s talk will cover:

  • The In Place of War - Art and Media in response to disaster, conflict and war.
  • Humanitarian 2.0. A project that explores innovative uses of social media applied to situations of upheaval and conflict.
  • Case studies on the use of Facebook in the Arab Spring, the digitisation of the Colombian City of Medellin and the controversy surrounding the use of Twitter in the UK 2011 riots.
  • The finding of the projects including the digital display of a curated exihibtion from In Place of War
  • The talk will feature contributions from Professor James Thompson (Director of In Place of War), Professor Rob Proctor (University of Warwick), Dima Saber (Birmingham City University), Jez Collins (Birmingham City University), Nathaniel Manning (Ushahidi), Laurent Kasindi (Search for a Common Ground, DRC), Theresa Bean (University of Leeds).

Ticket prices are as follows:
Redeye Member: £4
Unwaged: £5.50
Standard: £7

To buy a Redeye member ticket, please first log in to this website as a paid Redeye member. To book tickets please click the Book Tickets button below. Advance ticket sales close at 18:00 on 30 November. Please check our terms and conditions before booking.

Venue and Timing
The event will take place at the Libeskind Rooms, IWN North, The Quays, Trafford Park, Trafford Wharf Road, Manchester, M17 1TZ. The Imperial War Museum North is easily accessible by public transport from the City Centre or by car via the Manchester Outer Ring Road (M60). For more information on planning your journey, please visit the IWMN website:

11:15 Welcome and introduction
11:30 Presentations
12:45 Lunch break
13:45 Final presentation
14:30 Panel discussion
15:45 Close (approx time)

Participants are invited to remain for the screening of a short filmed interview with Paul Seawright at 16:00 in the Learning Studio. No booking is required.

Lunch is not included in the ticket price, but attendees are welcome to bring their own, or purchase food at the cafe. 

The talks start at 11:15 but doors will be open for 30 minutes beforehand, and the Museum opens at 10:00. Please arrive in good time, as sessions will start promptly. 

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