To create the marathon text of TWENTY FOUR HOURS OF PEACE , Neil Bartlett has spent nearly six months travelling across the UK and beyond, meeting one hundred remarkable individuals who work for peace. The full list of all our 100 interviewees – and access to all of their stories – will be available here in August. Here are some of them…
Juweria, 25, is a postgraduate research student at the University of Westminster – and a peace and justice activist.She told Neil extraordinary stories passed on to her by survivors of the conflict in Somalia, and talked to him passionately about the bigger pictures of climate justice and gender justice as well as about the specifics of life in Ogaden. You can find out more about the conflict in Ogaden here:
Charlotte, 25, campaigns against the military recruitment of under-18s in the UK – challenging the fact that the UK is the only European country to still actively recruit 16-year-olds into the Armed Forces. The campaign began at Child Soldiers International but has now moved to the Child Rights International Network.
Nigel, 53, is the founder of Small Steps and Exit UK. Having been an active member of the far right in this country , he now uses his insider experience to combat it. Small Steps is a training and advocacy organisation which aims to educate people – especially school students – about the realities of the far right, and Exit UK is a support network for those who want to get out of it.
Paul is Executive Director of Saferworld, a peacebuilding organisation that seeks to prevent violent conflict and build safer lives. He has spent the last twenty years working across Africa and was in Sudan in 1989 when the military coup occurred there. He has worked for the UN and for Pact, running a programme to improve the lives of marginalised communities in Sudan.
Nick, 55, is CEO of the Tim Parry and Johnathan Ball Peace Foundation. The Foundation was created as a memorial to the two young boys who lost their lives in the Warrington terrorist bombing in 1993. The foundation is a specialist in mediated dialogue, terrorism victim support and the prevention of violent extremism through education and runs innovative programmes
Khadija, 46, is the Project Leader for ‘One Community’, part of the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit. Khadija and her team work with communities in Glasgow to build new lives for refugees and asylum seekers fleeing war or enslavement.
Hannah, 33, is a Sheffield-based Quaker and peace activist, and part of Roots of Resistance, a grassroots network of activists trying to stop the London arms fair. She talked to Neil about working in Kenya and the West Bank and Israel – about how she sees connections between feminism, pacifism and climate justice – about queerness – and about how she struggles with the idea of Remembrance Sunday. You can find out more about Roots of Resistance here:
Ian, 51, is an RAF Staff Officer who works at SHAPE Headquarters Belgium. He is also a Gender Advisor for NATO and works to implement UN resolution 1325, which is the UN’s call for the equal participation of women in all peace and security work.
Ana, 53, is a Church of England curate in West London. A proud immigrant, she was forced to flee from her native Colombia by the FARC – and now works with the Truth, Memory and Reconciliation Commission, working to provide safe spaces in which women can share, process and understand their personal experiences of conflict and forced emigration. You can find out more about her story here:
Diana, 74, has been a peace activist since she was 15 and still stands every week in a vigil outside Bath Abbey. She has worked for many years with different international peace building organisations, supporting the efforts of local peace activists to address destructive conflict. In 2014 she helped to launch Rethinking Security, which argues that human and planetary security cannot be achieved by military means but only by cooperation
Charlotte, 29, is Curator of the Peace Museum in Bradford – the only Peace Museum in this country. She looks after over 7000 objects which tell the story of peace in the UK, and curates exhibitions which respond not just to that amazing history but also to live protests and issues that we face today
Rob, 37, is CEO of Aik Saath, a charity in Slough. He works with young people to encourage conflict resolution. Aik Saath means “Together As One” in Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu, and the charity was founded in 1998 in response to gang violence between young Sikhs, Hindus and Muslims in the town. He also set up Slough Young Carers group to specifically support young people looking after their relatives and studied Peace at Bradford University.
Ilker, 72, is an architect. He played an important role in the founding of the Republican Turkish Party after he was forced to leave Turkey following the military coup of 1971. He spent his childhood in Paphos, Cyprus and witnessed the sectarian violence between the Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots during the 1963/1964 civil war
Pat, 67, was a member of the IRA .He has recently been speaking publicly as part of THE FORGIVENESS PROJECT about how he struggles to reconcile his ongoing belief in armed struggle with the experience of being forgiven by some of the victims of his violence . A rare chance to hear this story from its relentlessly demonised source – find an interview with Pat here:
Avila, 66, is a Consultant for an NGO called Social Change Initiative. She has worked for forty-five years as a peacebuilder and community activist in Northern Ireland and elsewhere. She was involved in the negotiations leading to the “Good Friday” agreement of 1998 and helped establish the Northern Ireland Women’s Coalition.
Professor Mallinder, 40, works at Queen’s University, Belfast, where she teaches human rights and constitutional law. She led the project to write the Belfast Guidelines on Amnesty and Accountability.
She has also been involved in several projects that sought to ensure that the legacy of the Troubles is addressed in order to sustain and deepen the peace brokered by the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. At a time when that peace is threatened by Brexit and the ongoing power vacuum in Northern Ireland, it is important to maintain a commitment to the goals and institutions of the peace process, and to deliver for victims and Northern Irish society.
Caesar, 51, is Projects Manager for Conciliation Resources’ East and Central Africa Programme . He’s also worked in Uganda, the Central African Republic – where he helped broker the deal that saved over 12,000 children and young people from the conflict there- and on cultural initiatives on London’s notorious Broadwater Farm. You can find out more about his story here:
Ann became a supporter of Campaign Against Arms Trade in 1978 and is now Parliamentary Co-ordinator. She leads on CAAT’s parliamentary work and is also responsible for CAAT’s international work and liaises with lawyers on its current Judicial Review challenge to the UK government’s licensing of exports to Saudi Arabia where there is a clear risk they might be used in serious violations of International Humanitarian Law in Yemen
Carolyn, 63, is the Programme Director for CRESST, in Sheffield, a charity-funded NGO that provides conflict resolution training and workshops in primary and secondary schools and whose brilliant work reaches around 1,500 young people in the city a year.
Marwan, 59, is Principal Lecturer in Peace Studies at Coventry University, working in the brilliantly-named department of Trust, Peace and Social Relations. An exiled Palestinian, he has a life-long commitment to non-violence. You can find out more about Peace Studies in Coventry here:
Mahima, 32, is currently based in Kathmandu- but she works in the UK and around the world as a counsellor to organisations and individuals seeking help to overcome conflict. She works a lot around issues of resilience, crisis response and personal transformation. She believes profoundly in personal agency, transformative capacity and the acceptance of difference. Hear what she thinks on her website, here:
Tommy, 62, is a Labour Councillor for Manchester City Council. His role at the council is to champion the Armed Forces Community Covenant. He joined the army at 15 years old and in 1974 he was a passenger in the M62 coach bombing by the IRA. Tommy is now the chairperson of the Moss Side Fire Station Boxing Club Foundation Trust, which works to inspire and include some of the hardest to reach young people in the city.
Rebecca, 49, is the Rabbi at the Finchley Progressive Synagogue.. In 2015 she campaigned to provide homes for Syrian refugees in Barnet, including organising a walk to parliament to highlight this issue. For the past 8 years, she has opened the synagogue for the homeless to take shelter during the winter.
Jo, 69, is a playwright , performer, father, and grandmother. Her play The Gospel According to Jesus, Queen of Heaven talks about faith, respect, love and the body – especially the trans body – in relation to the idea and the daily practice of peace. You can meet Jo and her work here:
Almas ,60, is Frontline Services Manager for Asylum Welcome Oxford. He’s a former gun-carrying left-wing political Kurdish dissident from Iran – and so has personal experience of being on the sharp end of asylum-seeking himself. Found out more about what he does for peace and justice in Oxford here:
Reem is the Peace and Security Campaigner for MEDACT – a London-based charity supporting and encouraging public health professionals to work together to address the causes of conflict and violence – not just to treat their casualties. From working on nuclear proliferation to arms sales to climate emergency to supporting frontline workers in Sudan – read more about their work here:
Jonathan, 63, is CEO and Founder of Inter-Mediate, an NGO working on armed conflicts around the world. He worked as the Chief British negotiator for 10 years on the peace process in Northern Ireland, and Jonathan and his team are currently working on 14 different conflicts around the world, including Afghanistan.
Lindis is a long-time peace activist, 36 years in the NHS as Nurse, Midwife and Health Visitor. She protested at Greenham Common in the early 1980’s, and has been arrested over 400 times, serving many prison sentences. She co-founded the Campaign for Accountability of American Bases (CAAB). She stepped down as Co-ordinator of CAAB in 2016, and it is no longer active. However Lindis is!
Emma, 51, is the Director of the World Fellows programme at Yale. She brings together extraordinary leaders from all over the world to strengthen their capacity to address the challenges facing their societies. Before joining Yale, she served in Iraq from 2003-2010 as a political adviser to the Coalition, and in Israel/Palestine in the 1990s supporting the peace process.
Celia, 44, is the coordinator for Rethinking Security, a network of organisations, academics and activists dedicated to persuading the UK public and politicians to radically re-think the way we conceive security. Celia has been a peace-builder for over 20 years, working to support peace building processes in Colombia, Northern Ireland, the Philippines and the post-Yugoslav states
Jonathan, 54, is the Executive Director of Conciliation Resources, a peacebuilding NGO which works in many conflict zones around the world. He was awarded an OBE for his services to conflict prevention and resolution in the South Caucasus. His work focuses on building partnerships and helping people to resolve conflict peacefully.
Danielle, 36, has held senior positions in a number of large aid charities across the world and works at the global level, through UN coordination structures, to tackle and coordinate responses to gender-based violence in conflicts and natural disasters. Danielle is part of the #AidToo movement – calling out the sexual harassment, exploitation and abuse that takes place within the aid sector. She’s a post-colonial, intersectional, socialist feminist and has worked in active conflict areas in Somalia, South Sudan and Syria. Originally from South Liverpool, Danielle grew up in Toxteth, but now lives in Brighton where she is active in the Labour Party. Find out more about Danielle here: @daniellewas
Jasvinder, 54, author and campaigner, created her campaigning charity Karma Nirvana to save all those affected (we support men and boys too) by forced marriage and “honour”-motivated abuse. She wrote the widely-acclaimed book “ Shame” – and is passionate in her commitment to social change and justice:
Audrey, 84, is an ex-primary-school teacher who ended up in Holloway after protesting against the US army base at Greenham Common in 1983. You can find out more about the incredible story of the pioneering women of Greenham here:
Zoe, 41, works as the Cultural Lead for Libraries, Galleries and Culture for Manchester City Council. She supports the growth of cultural provision within the city and her great grandfather was poet Laurence Binyon, whose famous line “We will remember them” is quoted at Remembrance Sunday services across the world, it is taken from his poem ‘For the Fallen’ about WW1.
Saba, 32, is Commercial Director of The Advocacy Academy in Brixton. The Advocacy Academy is a youth movement, building the next generation of social change activists; Saba is passionate about the need to increase the representation of young people in the championing of community issues.
Matt, 50, is the Executive Director of All Out, a global movement for love and equality that promotes and defends the human rights of LGBT+ people. In 2016 and 2017, All Out raised funds from its global members for Pride in Uganda. Matt travelled to Kampala to stand in solidarity with the brave LGBT+ activists of Uganda as they defied governments bans and violent brutality to come together for the moment of community and solidarity that is Pride
Scottee, 33, is an artist and writer. He explores issues affecting the LGBTQI+ community, often focussing on the experience and politics of violence . In 2015 he collaborated with local communities in Peterborough, which had one of the highest rates of online homophobic hate crime in the UK, and his shows have also toured in Europe, Australia, Japan and the US.
Sean, 46, works for Manchester City Council , and is currently UK Secretary for Mayors for Peace , a global organisation founded in Hiroshima which works towards the long term goals of the nuclear free movement and pushes policy and issues onto the agenda of local government.
Symon, 42, is a committed Christian and pacifist, and works as Campaigns Manager for the Peace Pledge Union. The PPU was founded in 1934, and is best known for its work of distributing white poppies each Remembrance Sunday – work for which Symon himself has regularly received death threats. You can find out more about the history of the Union and its work in challenging militarism, arms dealing and the promotion of violent conflict here in the UK here:
Mike, 52, established the campaigning charity Global Acts of Unity after his brother David, a humanitarian aid worker, was murdered by the so-called Islamic State in Syria in 2014.He now tours schools to tell his story and to use it to promote the active combatting of hate in this country.
Nigel, 55, is the founder of Small Steps and Exit UK. Having been an active member of the far-right in this country, he now uses his insider experience to combat it. Small Steps is a training and advocacy organisation which aims to educate people – especially school students – about the realities of the far-right, and Exit UK is a support network for those who want to get out of it.
Paul, 49, is Response Operations Manager for Team Rubicon UK, a disaster response charity whose workers are 70% ex-military. After serving in the army himself for 26 years, he left in 2011 and took up expedition and disaster response work. Paul has led aid teams across the world, responding to the Nepal earthquakes in 2015, Indonesia in 2018 and the recent flooding in Mozambique.
Zrinka, 51, grew up in Sarajevo, worked as a journalist during the war and on post-war reconciliation in Prijedor, notorious for death camps – and is now Chief Executive of Migrants Organise, a platform where refugees and migrants organise for power, dignity and justice. They develop leadership and open up spaces for organised participation of migrants and refugees in public life. You can find out more about her incredible work here:
Jay, 18, a working-class Millenial activist from Ayrshire, Jay and his mates created Scotland Against Militarism, a campaigning alliance which seeks to question and challenge the influence of the British Army in Scottish schools. Follow their work here:
Jennifer, 26, works as a researcher for Action On Armed Violence and conducts research into the harm caused by the use of explosive weapons. She has carried out research in Sri Lanka, Lebanon and Syria. She looks at the environmental impacts of the violence, the destruction of infrastructure and the health implications for civilians including casualties.
Steph, 67, has been an activist for many years and was a practicing psychotherapist. Since retirement she has used her skills to counsel newly arrived victims of trauma and is part of Sheffield Creative Action for Peace. The group regularly attend demonstrations against the arms trade – and are constantly finding new ways to make their arguments for peace as graphic as possible.
Scilla, 75, is a three-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee. She began her work as activist at Greenham Common – took a leading role in policy negotiations around nuclear weapons decisions in the 1980s and 1990s”– and is currently developing a game-changing Business Plan for Peace which analyses both the cost of war – and value of stopping it happen. Read about her – and the Plan – here: