Students Staff

26 November 2014

Professor on BBC Radio 4 discussing role of art following conflict or repression

Professor Sanja Bahun

Professor Sanja Bahun

Professor Sanja Bahun appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Thinking Allowed to discuss how art can help societies as they move towards democracy in the aftermath of conflict or state repression.

Alongside Professor Vikki Bell from Goldsmiths College, Professor Bahun discussed with presenter Laurie Taylor how culture can help a country scarred by oppression to both mark, as well as transcend, its past.

Professor Bahun, from the Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies, said art can “provide alternative or supplemental ways to address issues which transitional societies face” and described how countries such as Sierra Leone and South Africa integrated theatre or oral traditions into the justice process.

She added: “Different cultural settings have a preference for different art forms to interact more prominently with the transitional justice mechanisms.”

She pointed out that art can help document atrocities and connect people with the experiences of individuals or groups who may have faced violence, threats, victimisation and other human rights violations.

She said art could often “restore the dignity of a group or individuals which is an important part of transitional justice.”

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