17th Jul, 2019

Major global peace conference wants to hear from Coventry Blitz survivors

A MAJOR global peace conference is calling for survivors of the Coventry Blitz to come forward to share their experiences.

The RISING Global Peace Forum will return to Coventry, the UK’s only City of Peace and Reconciliation, for a fifth time later this year.

The event is to take place around the anniversary of the Coventry Blitz bombings on November 14, 1940.

More than 200 leading academics and frontline peacebuilders from across the world will be at the two-day event to hear from high-profile speakers, and discuss and promote new ways to make and sustain global peace.

And organisers are now on the lookout for a survivor of the Blitz to be part of a short film being produced ahead of the event, sharing their thoughts on how living through the bombing has affected their outlook on peace.

The Blitz killed hundreds of civilians and destroyed large sections of medieval Coventry, including St Michael’s Cathedral, after the city was bombed by more than 500 Luftwaffe aircraft.

This year’s forum will take place on Wednesday, November 13 and Thursday, November 14 at Coventry Cathedral and focus on the ecology of peace, and how relationships with people and place affect an individual’s understanding of it.

RISING Development Manager Richard Dickson said: “We are looking for someone who has lived through a period that changed our perception of the world not only in the city, but across the UK and beyond.

“The film will highlight some of the reasons behind Coventry’s global status as a leading City of Peace and Reconciliation, delving into the personal stories that weave the fabric of the city’s longstanding affiliation with the pursuit of peace.

“We will be asking them to talk briefly about what it was like to live through that night, or to talk about how what happened has affected their view of the world if they were too young to remember it, as well as give their opinions on what peace means to them now.”

RISING was launched in 2015 as a partnership between Coventry University, represented by the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations, Coventry Cathedral and Coventry City Council, with the support of Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Anyone who would like to be considered for the short film should email Richard Dickson at ac7340@coventry.ac.uk.

For more information on the RISING Global Peace Forum, and to register free to attend, visit www.rising.org

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