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Just Performance: Dr. Salomon Lerner Febres delivers keynote address

Dr. Salomón Lerner Febres, Rector Emeritus of Pontificia Catholic University of Peru and Former President of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Peru, delivered the keynote address for the symposium. His remarks were delivered in Spanish, with the English translation projected on a screen. Read the English translation of "Memory of Violence and Drama in Peru: The Experience of the Truth Commission and the Yuyachkani Theater Group" [PDF].Read the Spanish version [PDF].

image from film Fambul Tok

A lead-up film series explored the themes of the symposium.

  • October 3: The Reckoning – Seeking justice for crimes against humanity
  • October 24: State of Fear – A nation wages a war on terror and loses its democracy....
  • October 31: Fires in the Mirror – What happens when ethnic tensions in an American neighborhood explode into violence?
  • November 7: War Don Don and Fambul Tok – Trials and healing in Sierra Leone
  • November 14: My Neighbor My Killer – Local justice after the Rwandan genocide
  • November 21: Two Rivers – Native American reconciliation in northern Washington State

Learn more about the Center's programs in these areas.

Just Performance: Enacting Justice in the Wake of Violence


December 1 & 2, 2011

Read about the symposium and view a slideshow of photos from the events.

Read the opening remarks of Leigh Swigart, director of Programs in International Justice and Society at the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life, entitled "International Criminal Justice: Do we Expect too Much?"

Click here for the detailed program, speaker bios, and related articles & websites.

This two-day symposium explored the performative dimensions of justice-seeking in the aftermath of violence, with a focus on Cambodia, Peru and the United States.

  • How can societies best recover from widespread violence and human rights violations?
  • What do public ritual, theater, truth commissions and criminal trials each offer as justice-seeking strategies?
  • How does performance, broadly conceived, satisfy the human need to understand violence and reconstruct dignity in its wake?

Click here for the detailed program, speaker bios, and related articles & websites.

Questions? Contact

Thursday December 1st – Rapaporte Treasure Hall

9:00 am - 10:00 am – Opening Session
  • Setting the Stage for Just Performance: Cynthia Cohen and Leigh Swigart, symposium co-directors
10:15 am - 12:00 pm – Session 1: Justice-Seeking in Peru


1:30 pm - 3:15 pm – Session 2: Justice-Seeking in Cambodia


3:30 pm - 5:15 pm – Session 3: Justice-Seeking in the United States

Thursday December 1st Evening Activities – Mandel Center for the Humanities Atrium

5:30 pm - 6:30 pm – Reception and Book Signing
Reception for conference participants and audience, and book signing of Acting Together: Performance and the Creative Transformation of Conflict

6:30 pm – Keynote Address
Keynote by Dr. Salomón Lerner Febres, President of Peru's Truth and Reconciliation Commission (2001-2003), and expert on different modes of understanding and arriving at justice : "Memoria de la violencia y dramaturgia en el Perú: La experiencia de la Comisión de la Verdad y el Grupo Yuyachkani (Memory of Violence and Drama in Peru: The Experience of the Truth Commission and the Yuyachkani Theater Group)"

Friday December 2nd (morning) – Rapaporte Treasure Hall

9:00 am - 10:30 am – Session 4: Justice and Performance in Practice


10:45 am - 12:00 pm – Session 5: Justice and Performance Through the Eyes of Students: Law, Coexistence and Development


Friday December 2nd (afternoon - part 1) – Multipurpose Room, Shapiro Campus Center second floor

12:30 pm – Performance of "Biro"

Staged performance of "Biro" written by Ntare Mwine, performed by Ugandan actor and playwright Charles Mulekwa.

1:15 pm - 2:00 pm – Closing Session: Synthesis and Concluding Remarks

Friday December 2nd (afternoon - part 2) – Various locations on the Brandeis campus

3:00 pm – Continuing the Just Performance Conversations
  • Option 1: Executing Innocence, design studio led by Barbara Lewis, Ph.D., Director of the Trotter Institute for the Study of Black Culture, UMass Boston. Multi-purpose Room, Shapiro Campus Center.
  • Option 2:  Museums, Art, and the Quest for Justice, tour and discussion led by Dabney Hailey, Director of Academic Programs, Rose Art Museum. Rose Art Museum.
  • Option 3: Immigration and Seeking Justice, conversation with playwright and actor Charles Mulekwa. Rapaporte Treasure Hall.
  • Option 4: Conversation in Spanish with Dr. Salomón Lerner Febres. Abraham Shapiro Academic Complex Atrium.

Click here for the detailed program, speaker bios, and related articles & websites.

Just Performance was directed by Cynthia Cohen and Leigh Swigart of the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life at Brandeis University. It was organized in collaboration with Northeastern University School of Law and with the support of the Curtis International Council Fund of The Boston Foundation. The symposium was cosponsored by the Brandeis University Department of African and Afro-American Studies; Latin American and Latino Studies; Legal Studies; Mandel Center for the Humanities; the Master's Program in Coexistence and Conflict; the Office of the Arts; and the Peace, Conflict and Coexistence Studies Program. For more information email