2nd Global Conference The Changing Faces of Evil An Inclusive Interdisciplinary Conference
Evil – the things we do as well as the things that happen to us – continues to be a stubborn and destructive presence in our lives. Despite often repeated slogans of ‘never again’ and ‘lessons will be learned’, and in the face of all of the monuments, memorials, speeches and books designed to keep the ills of the past ever in our thoughts, the sheer savagery of the evils we are individually and collectively capable of performing is writ seemingly larger every day.
Evil continues to leave enduring scars on life in the 21st century, despite knowledge of the Holocaust, the Rwandan and Armenian genocides, the events of Darfur and more. Contrary to what might be expected, these events have not served as sufficient warnings to save the global community from enduring new humanitarian catastrophes. Geopolitical power struggles resulting in poverty, violence and devastation for affected communities continue to leave a legacy of suffering in many parts of the world. The economies of the world embrace deregulation, protectionism and austerity, bringing financial crises which devastate individuals, families, communities and states. And despite advances in understanding psycho-social influences and reasons behind crime, we have not been able to prevent horrific acts of killing and violence in our communities.
People increasingly feel we have entered a time of ‘big’ evil – actions and events which play out on national, international and global stages, using the tools and machinery of the state and supported by the deliberate and cynical manipulation of all forms of media. The re-emergence of slavery, the continued growth of trafficking, the apparent invulnerability of corporations and the unaccountability of political actors create a rising sense among us all of injustice, powerlessness, indifference, irrelevance, hopelessness, resignation and despair.
Our second meeting of this inclusive interdisciplinary conference will explore four main areas with a view to forming a publication to engender further collaboration and discussion;
1) What does evil look like in the 21st century?
2) Are we seeing the (re)emergence of strains of evil and wickedness particularly in relation to governments, the State and nations?
3) How do and how can we ‘see’ evil? How is it possible to represent and portray evil?
4) What is our capacity to manage, confront, contain and overcome evil?