Millions of people enjoy the benefits of music every day, listening to songs, dancing to beats, singing in the shower, drumming on the dinner table!
Countless have gained better health through music therapy, happier social lives through community music, reconciliation and forgiveness through musical workshops. Though it is true that music is sometimes used for destructive purposes, this only reinforces the idea that rhythms, melodies and harmonies have the power to move us emotionally and physically.
How are people using this energy to improve their personal lives, families, communities, and even countries, and how can we do these things even better?
Olivier Urbain of the Min-On Music Research Institute, Tokyo, Japan, will address these questions during an interactive and lively session on music in peacebuilding. He will be joined by panellists Laura Hassler, Director of Musicians Without Borders, Darren Ferguson, Director of Beyond Skin, and from the University of York, UK, Jacob Eriksson, Henrice Altink, Jonathan Eato, Rachel Cowgill and Paul Gready.
This event is hosted live on Zoom Webinar. You’ll receive a link to join a couple of days before the event takes place and a reminder an hour before. During the event, you can ask questions via a Q&A function but audience cameras and microphones will remain muted throughout.
Image credit: Min-On 2019
About the speakers
Olivier Urbain is the Director of the Min-On Music Research Institute (MOMRI, Tokyo), which focuses on the application of music in peacebuilding activities, in short, “Music in Peacebuilding.” He is the editor of the first book on the topic, Music and Conflict Transformation (2008), as well as co-editor of Music and Solidarity (2011) and Music, Power and Liberty (2016). He is part-time Lecturer at Soka University, Tokyo and Visiting Research Professor at Queen's University Belfast.
Henrice Altink is Professor in Modern History at the University of York and Co-Director of the Interdisciplinary Global Development Centre (IGDC). She is the author of several books on gender and race in the Caribbean and has also published on health and medicine in the Caribbean. Her more recent research explores the relation between social inequality and environmental vulnerability in the Caribbean and Latin America.
Rachel Cowgill is Professor of Music at the University of York, UK. Currently, Rachel is University Research Theme Champion for Creativity, and Principal Investigator on the AHRC-funded project, ‘The Internet of Musical Events: Digital Scholarship, Community, and the Archiving of Performance’ (InterMusE) (2021-23). Rachel's research focuses on music in cultural history, encompassing Mozart, opera studies, British music and musical cultures, internationalism, conflict and commemoration, and music, gender and identity.
Dr Jonathan Eato is a Senior Lecturer in Music at the University of York, UK. He is a composer and saxophone player with interests in a wide range of contemporary musics, jazz, improvisation, South African popular music, interdisciplinary performance, music and postcoloniality, and music for dance. His research interests include, composition, jazz, interdisciplinary performance practice, South African popular music, improvisation, and music and postcoloniality.
Dr Jacob Eriksson is a Lecturer in Post-war Recovery Studies at the University of York, UK. His research interests include Middle Eastern politics, conflict, and conflict resolution, particularly in the context of post-war recovery and peace building. He has done extensive research on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, particularly the failed peace process and third-party mediation. His current research project, funded by the C and JB Morrell Trust, is on Iraq's post-ISIS recovery, focusing in particular on issues of governance, transitional justice, and reconciliation.
Darren Ferguson is the founder and Director of Beyond Skin which was established in January 2004 to enable the Arts as the dialogue to assist the development of a more peaceful, equal and intercultural society free from racism and sectarianism. It designs and facilitates innovative music, arts and media projects that strengthen community relations, nurture peace processes, cultivate security, empower youth and promote interaction between different cultures. in addition, he is a co-founder board member of the Migrant and Minority Ethnic Council, the Natali Márquez Foundation and a trustee on Cre8 Theatre Company.
Professor Paul Gready is the Director of the Centre for Applied Human Rights at the University of York, UK. He has worked for Amnesty International (on East and Southern Africa, and India) and a number of other international and national human rights organisations, and has wide-ranging experience as a human rights consultant. His research interests include human rights practice, transitional justice, human rights and development, culture and human rights, and human rights cities.
Laura Hassler is the Director of Musicians Without Borders, which uses music for peacebuilding and social change. It shares expertise as it works to enable musicians to be advocates, activists, teachers, and performers, with the message: War Divides, Music Connects.