Swansea University marks Holocaust Memorial Day

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Swansea University will commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day this Friday (27 January) with talks by Swansea University Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Martin Stringer and Dr Glen Miles.

Professor Stringer’s talk entitled ‘Why Remember? From Genocide to Micro-Aggressions and Back Again’ will explore the memorial for the twentieth century genocides, other forms of exclusion and cleansing, the construction of otherness and the current debate on racism, homophobia, islamophobia, including unconscious bias and micro-aggressions. 

In his talk, Professor Stringer says: “All prejudice, all hatred, all genocide begins, I would suggest, in the demeaning and humiliation of other human beings… I would always see genocide as simply a peak, that part of the iceberg of prejudice that sits above the surface, but in essence one with so much other hatred, fear and denial of human dignity that still occurs in our so called civilised societies.”

He argues that the theory of unconscious bias goes some way to excuse prejudice as a fundamentally human trait, but that in recognising this we are challenged to overcome this, through an act of will, to recall the dignity and humanity of the other. This is especially vital, now, he argues in the populism of a post-Brexit, post-Trump, post-truth world that uses language that: “ridicules our attempts to reach out to the other and to challenge the demeaning of fellow human beings.”  Ultimately, we ‘remember’ he says, in order to recognise, and to celebrate, the humanity of others.

Dr Glenn Miles will explore the on-going impact of genocide on Cambodia and the way in which it has recovered.  Dr Miles will talk about individuals and projects that he has worked with over the past 29 years in refugee camps, city slums, red light areas and evicted communities, demonstrating how over the years the country has become more optimistic, with young people growing in confidence in themselves and for their future.

Swansea University will commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day on Friday 27 January, at the SURF room, First Floor of Fulton House, Singleton Campus from 13:00 until 14:00

This event is open to all.  Please contact Huw Lewis (h.r.lewis@swansea.ac.uk) if you would like to attend.