Thursday, February 27, 2014

Look Behind You!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Steafan hanvey singing with guitarWATERLOO, ON -- The Peace and Conflict Studies department and the Centre for the Study of Religion and Peace at Conrad Grebel University College at the University of Waterloo extend an open invitation to Look Behind You! This multimedia performance details how a father and son have negotiated the personal and political landscapes of Northern Ireland through photograph and song. This FREE EVENT takes place on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014 at 7 PM in the Chapel at Conrad Grebel University College, 140 Westmount Road North, Waterloo, ON.

Using image and voice, anecdote and memory, Look Behind You! showcases Bobbie Hanvey’s prize-winning photojournalism mixed with radio-edits of his interviews with some of Northern Ireland’s best-known figures. These are complemented and contextualized by Steafán Hanvey’s story-telling, which comes in the form of critically-acclaimed song-writing, and a trained academic’s gift for presenting complex issues in an engaging manner.

In 2012 Northern Irish singer-songwriter Steafán Hanvey completedNuclear Family – an album that meditates on the constructive and destructive forces inherent in most (normal) families and relationships. As he sifted through his memories and experiences, he realized that the public and political face of Northern Ireland was pressed hard against the window of his private and personal world; in short, his ‘family’ couldn’t be "explained" in isolation – context, though not everything, was a significantsomething. As an artist, that something had always troubled Steafán, and creating the album made him realize that despite the fact that he had never written explicitly about Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland had written him.

And so with the album finished, Steafán turned his gaze towards the face at the window. Mute at first, it finally exclaimed: Look Behind You! And so he did. Struggling to make sense of what he saw, Steafán realized that not only would he have to open up to new modes of expression, he’d also have to participate in that most nerve-wracking of things -- an unexpected collaboration.

Together, Bobbie and Steafán document the (extra)ordinary – mums and dads, police and priests, the loved and the loveless, soldiers and paramilitaries, politicians and voters, poets, singers, painters, Travelers gathered around a fire on a cold winter’s morning, the living and the dead.Look Behind You! mashes up the public and the private, and dares to promote the artistic maxim that "the end of art is peace."

Steafán Hanvey was born in Downpatrick, Co. Down in 1972, during one of the bloodiest years of ‘The Troubles’. He graduated from the University of Ulster in Belfast with a Bachelor's in Modern Studies in 1995 and obtained a Masters in International Politics at the University of Helsinki. Steafán's critically acclaimed album debut was released in Finland and Ireland in 2006, and shortly after he appeared on television and radio.

It is a pleasure for the Centre for the Study of Religion and Peace (CSRP) at Conrad Grebel University College to welcome Steafán Hanvey to the University of Waterloo campus. Through research and dialogue as well as broader educational activities, the CSRP seeks to enhance understanding of the peace potential inherent in religious commitment, and actively explores ways in which this potential can be tapped to more constructively manage differences in a complex, diverse, and interdependent world community. The mission of the Peace and Conflict Studies department is to educate students to pursue peace and justice in the context of diverse investigations into the origins and nature of conflict and violence. The program strives to educate, invigorate and mobilize students to make use of conceptual and/or practical models to imagine and build a culture of peace between individuals, in our communities, among nations and around the world.

For more information about the artist, visit Steafán's website.
For a sample of his work, view a short documentary on the National Public Radio (NPR) site: NPR: video/multimedia documentary.
Steafán also spoke at length with No Depression: photo essay and interview

For more information about the presentation at Conrad Grebel, please contact:
Rebecca Steinmann
Peace and Conflict Studies
Conrad Grebel University College
519-885-0220 x24216

For media interviews, please contact:
Heather West
Western Publicity
4043 N Spaulding Avenue
Chicago, IL 60618
cell 773/301-5767 or 773/273-6284

Look behind you logo with father and son walking