Thursday, June 16, 2005

Seminar Two

Last night we had the second seminar relating to the F-Word exhibition in Belfast. The theme was international perspectives, and we had two speakers, one from Rwanda, and one from Chile. Mary's story comes from the genocide in Rwanda in 1994, where she was the only member of her family not to be killed. But her story was inspiring and touching, as she told us that her therapy is in helping others in the same situation, and that she seeks to be a voice for the victims/survivors.

She said that the perpetrators of terror are listened and respected too much, while the victims are forgotten. How true this is in Northern Ireland, where ex-prisoner groups are taken by the hand, and hundreds of thousands of pounds thrown at them, while victims' groups like our own are struggling to continue. Her solution was to make herself obnoxious, turning up at all sorts of venues asking the difficult questions, which is also what our staff and committee do - for example, a run-in I had with the Mayor of Londonderry a while back over the word 'terrorist'...

I'm well glad that I was part of the event last night, and also that it looks like I'll be in Newtownstewart for another while!

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