From the 22nd-24th January 2015, The Abbey Theatre presented The Theatre of War Symposium.
This followed the successful ‘Theatre of Memory’ symposium held in January 2014. The 2015 symposium was a unique gathering of artists, journalists, and academics discussing the world’s most troubling conflicts from a global, contemporary, and historical perspective. Theatre artists from Burundi, Columbia, Syria, Palestine, Rwanda, Ireland, and the United Kingdom were invited to discuss the challenges of artists responding to conflict. Participants and speakers included: Marina Carr, Patrick Cockburn, David Cotterrell, Anne Dolan, Ruwanthie de Chickera, Frédérique LeComte, Luke Gibbons, Declan Kiberd, Dijana Milošević, Conall Morrison, John Scott, Gauri Viswanathan, Naomi Wallace, Padraig Yeates, and Amir Nizar Zuabi
This extraordinary event laid the foundations for the formation of Empathy & Risk. Both Ruwanthie de Chickera and David Cotterrell arrived independently to provide reflections on the impact of War and Peace in their different landscape and cultures. Through the conference, the possibility of points of shared interest and perhaps a collaborative inquiry was considered for the first time.