Posted on 12 September 2014
The symposium was sponsored by two AHRC research themes: Care for the Future: Thinking Forward through the Past, and the Cultural Value Project.
Paul's paper explored three types of relationship between culture and human rights in post-conflict settings, drawing on a range of country-based examples. First, 'culture vs. human rights' assessed how the two fields are sometimes in tension. For example, advocating different 'regimes of truth', or with artists testing the boundaries of acceptable freedom of expression. Second, 'human rights to culture' looked at how post-conflict legal and political settlements seek to protect a right to culture, cultural expression and cultural diversity. Finally, 'human rights in and through culture' addressed culture as a means of advancing human rights goals. He argued that this can take the form of giving voice to the otherwise voiceless, or cultural processes as key to empowerment and shaping the ways in which rights are understood and claimed.