April 4, 2008

Blood, Marrow, and Bone –
Bearing Witness, Stories of Survival, Loss and (Not) Belonging

Concordia University, Montreal

In collaboration with Lisa Ndejuru and Pauline Ngirumpatse as well as Diana Yaros and Mireille Lapointe from the Algonquin community in Southeastern Ontario and others.

Hosted within the context of the international Conference "Accounts of testimony related to genocide" of Life Stories of Montrealers Displaced by War, Genocide and Other Human Rights Violations Community-University Research Alliance (CURA) Project, Concordia University

The following invitation was circulated widely in advance of the event:

“We each have a story that relates to the essence of who we are, where we have come from, and where we are journeying. Storytelling is a powerful facilitator of culture, spiritual identity and growth” (M. Cueva and R. Kuhnley in: Enhancing Meaning through the Arts: Connecting People, Cultures, Communities, 2003).

To heal our selves and the generations past and future – and to protect others from the scars we suffer – we must be willing to move through and beyond the anger and hurt that has been experienced and passed on. Sometimes the patterns are so deeply etched – within the personal, communal and political spheres – that it is extremely difficult to avoid the victim-to-hero-to-perpetrator cycle and the internalization of crisis.

Embodied tellings of one’s own stories, and bearing witness to those of others in an atmosphere of trust, can attend to the myriad of private and public wounds we carry into the 21st century. We respectfully invite you to participate in an evening of storytelling convened with the intention to enable complex overlapping – even contradictory – histories to be told, memories to be shared, and a sustainable coexistence to be practiced.

We wish to acknowledge the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute, Humain Avant Tout, and Tuganire.