Dr Cheryl Lawther, Prof Kieran McEvoy and Dr Lauren Dempster (QUB) –
This presentation presents the preliminary findings of an Arts and Humanities Research Council funded project entitled ‘Voice, Agency and Blame: Victimhood and the Imagined Community in Northern Ireland’. The project is based on qualitative interviews over 2016/17, with over 70 victims and survivors, lawyers, NGO activists, journalists and others. Asking questions concerning the three themes of voice, agency and blame, this project was designed to critically explore the construction and meaning of victimhood in post-conflict Northern Ireland. Drawing on the research findings and focusing on the five overlapping themes of (1) Victimhood, Innocence and Blame; (2) Victimhood, Agency and Imagining Legitimacy; (3) Victimhood, Agency and the Mobilization of Empathy; (4) Victimhood, Voice and Discomfort; and (5) Victimhood, Voice and (Political) Responsibility, this presentation discusses how competing interpretations of victimhood have mapped onto and influenced discussions on how best to deal with the legacy of the past.
This seminar took place on 18th April 2018