Good news for all those people who were disappointed when the lecture by war photographer and film maker Paul Conroy at this year’s Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen’s sold out very quickly. Tickets for a second talk has been just been released for 9.15pm on Monday evening.
Paul Conroy was lucky to escape with his life in the Syria rocket attack which killed his journalist colleague Marie Colvin in 2012. Since, he has watched with growing horror as friends – like US journalist James Foley, beheaded by the Islamic State group – have lost their lives to the war in Syria. Up to 200,000 people are now thought to have lost their lives in the conflict, including scores of media workers.
Covering the war in Syria is now one of the world’s most dangerous jobs, with reporters not only facing injury or death but also the rising risk of kidnapping by groups like Islamic State. James Foley is the kind of person we need to shine a light into dark places where human rights abusers thrive. They dislike the glare of publicity. Without the likes of him and other good journalists, it will be an even darker place.
Paul Conroy will deliver the Amnesty International Annual Lecture [Ed – there seem to be an unending number of ‘annual Amnesty lectures!] followed by Q&A chaired by William Crawley. Tickets for the late show are now on sale from the festival website and box office. £8 (£6 concession).
I previewed the superb play An Enemy of the People a few weeks ago – complete with a political cover-up, press shenanigans, a paint fight and a chance for the Grand Opera Audience to vent their feelings about local (and world) politics [+ Culture NI review] – along with lots of other shows, talks and events …