Some highlights from the programme of Northern Ireland’s third Human Rights Festival which is running next week from 8th to 13th December.
Tuesday 9 December
From War to Surveillance: Human Rights and Drones // 7-9pm // St Mary’s University College // Free // Professor Noel Sharkey (University of Sheffield) specialises in robotics and the ethics of military robotics. In his lecture, he’ll discuss what human rights commitments exist under conditions of war and conflict and the use of new technologies such as drones.
Wednesday 10 December
Human Rights: From Conflict to Transitional Justice // 7-8pm // St Mary’s University College / Free / Ulster University’s Dr Louise Mallinder delivers a lecture examining what role human rights can play in post-conflict societies, and their importance in establishing peaceful and just societies with repaired community relations.
Thursday 11 December
Global Journalism – Fighting the Challenges // 12-3pm // Linen Hall Library // Free // At least 70 journalists lost their lives at work in 2013; scores were imprisoned unjustly. Syria, Iraq and Egypt are currently some of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist. over the years in Northern Ireland, journalists have been attacked, abused, injured and shot dead too. Local and international speakers – Kevin Cooper, Sarah Hunter (a Belfast photojournalist, based in the Lebanon for five years), Ciarán Ó Maoláin and Eamonn McCann – will discuss the dangers of striving to provide honest, accurate and unbiased reporting.
Friday 12 December
I’ll see you in court: ten people silenced by our libel laws // 6.30pm-8pm // Crescent Arts Centre // Free but register for a ticket // Simon Singh and the libel Reform Campaign will outline ten discussions you cannot hear “due to the archaic state of the law of libel”: from scientists sued for casting doubt on dubious treatments, to tennis players and oligarchs.
Saturday 13 December
CITIZENFOUR // 8.20pm / Queen’s Film Theatre // £6.50 // A portrait of Edward Snowdon filmed in secret in his Hong Kong hotel room as he prepared to become one of the most notorious whistleblowers by exposing global mass-surveillance schemes conducted by the NSA in the US as well as other governments. (Also showing at 6.30pm on Monday 15 December.)
There are also events looking at the legacy of the Magna Carta, children and young people, motherhood, reproductive rights, transgender, travellers, migrant culture, Rwanda, Congo, Kenya, and the Campervan of Dreams.
Alan Meban. Tweets as @alaninbelfast. Blogs about cinema and theatre over at Alan in Belfast. A freelancer who writes about and reports from civic, academic and political events, reviews cultural performances, chairs discussions, and live-tweets, streams and records lectures and conferences. He delivers social media training, coaching and consultancy, produces podcasts, is a member of Ofcom’s Advisory Committee for Northern Ireland, FactCheckNI board member, and is a member of the Corrymeela Community.