Official Launch Centre For Reparation Research
10 Oct
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Official Launch Centre For Reparation Research

I am pleased to announce the establishment of the Centre for Reparation Research at the University of the West Indies and look forward to welcoming all of you to the historic launch on October 10, the Symposium on October 11 and the Press Conference on October 12. For those travelling from overseas to express solidarity with us, a special welcome. The choice of these dates was not accidental but intentional.  The events will take place during Heritage Month in Jamaica and Black History Month in the United Kingdom. This means that both the descendants of the victims of the crimes of native genocide, enslavement and colonial injustices and those in the State that perpetrated them will be (or should be) focused on the Black experience. October 12 will present us with an opportunity to reiterate our outrage at what Columbus’ invasion unleashed on the region and join in an act of remembrance with the Indigenous Peoples who experience pain on that anniversary each year.

At the Symposium, we will be discussing the matter of reparatory justice for the ancestors from every conceivable angle, judging by the programme. We will anchor the discussion within the context of history, human rights, the right to development, ethical and moral obligation; legal justification and political responsibility in the post-colonial age, looking at government responses to reparations and comparing different national/transnational political contexts.We will trace the trajectory of the evolution of the movement and assess its progress; we will analyze and compare precedent in reparation settlements and debate their process, progress and impact. We will examine the ways in which art, literature, music and theatre represent and engage with reparations and reparative narratives. We will debate the psychological and spiritual ‘price’ of enslavement as well as how we remember intentionally; what we do with those memories and how we translate those memories from mental spaces to physical sites of memory. We will pore over the economics of emancipation and the price of freedom; we will pay respect to the victims of the crime against humanity and the pioneers of the movement. We will point fingers at the perpetrators and tell them what they ought to do if they wish to make amends for the tragedies of the past and question the rationale for their response or non-response so far. In terms of legacies, we will talk about the economic, cultural, social and environmental chains of implication of enslavement and genocide on past and contemporary societies and communities. Above all, we will attempt to chart the way forward, examining alternative conceptions of what is needed for repair outside of financial and legalistic arguments. Finally, we will discuss reparation and activism, looking at social movements, activist networks and the links and connections between activists and politics, all the while trying to ensue that this conference does not become one for making academic careers out of other people’s misery but one with an activist and advocacy agenda as we imagine a future that is better than our present.

Verene A. Shepher
Director, CRR

Event Start Date

October 10,2017 05:30 pm To 08:00 pm

Event Location

Gold Room, UWI Mona Visitors’ Lodge & Conference Centre University of the West Indies, Mona Campus 2 Garden Lane, Kingston 7, Jamaica

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