Bearing witness to the pain of others

For the 2017 Eve Saville memorial lecture, Professor Phil Scraton of Queen's University Belfast will draw on his experience investigating the Hillsborough disaster, the politics of incarceration, and childhood in transition to talk about the role of critical research in securing truth and acknowledgement

About this event

In this lecture, Professor Phil Scraton will engage with the profound political, ethical and personal challenges involved in bearing witness to the ‘pain of others’.

Central to critical social research is the assertion that knowledge production is neither value-free nor value-neutral but is derived and reproduced within structural relations of inequality and oppression underpinning established social, political and economic orders.

Focusing on the ‘view from below’, hearing testimonies from the margins, revealing institutionalised deceit and pursuing truth recovery, he argues that in bearing witness, critical social research is transformative. It addresses ‘personal troubles’ as ‘public issues’ and seeks alternative accounts to secure truth and acknowledgement.

About Phil Scraton

Phil Scraton is Professor Emeritus in the School of Law at Queen's University Belfast. For 27 years his investigative work into the context, circumstances and aftermath of the 1989 Hillsborough disaster has been defining.

This includes two major reports in the 1990s, the widely-acclaimed Hillsborough: The Truth and primary authorship of the Report of the Hillsborough Independent Panel. He led the Panel's research team and was consultant to the families’ legal teams throughout the recent ground-breaking inquests.

His primary research includes deaths in custody, the criminalization of children and young people, childhood in transition in the North of Ireland, the politics of incarceration, and bereavement and survival in the aftermath of disasters.

In 2016, he was awarded the Freedom of the City of Liverpool, the Political Studies Association's Campaigner of the Year and an Honorary Doctorate of Laws by the University of Liverpool. However, he publicly rejected an OBE, saying that he ‘could not receive an honour on the recommendation of those who remained unresponsive to the determined efforts of bereaved families and survivors to secure truth and justice’ over the Hillsborough disaster.

Event fee

There is no fee for this event and all are welcome, regardless of income. We are encouraging voluntary donations from those who can afford it to cover the cost of event organisation.

Venue, time and date

May 23rd, 2017 6:00 PM   to   8:00 PM
St Martin’s Hall
St Martin-in-the-Fields
Trafalgar Square
London, WC2N 4JJ
United Kingdom

Show large map
Phone: 020 7840 6110
I like what you do. Here's a donation £ 20.00
Here's a contribution to event costs £ 10.00
Here's a one-off donation £ 5.00
Maybe next time £ 0.00

Help spread the word

Please help us and let your friends, colleagues and followers know about our page: Bearing witness to the pain of others

You can also share the below link in an email or on your website.