Art and Reconciliation

Glenda Wildschut, one of the commissioners who served with Desmond Tutu on South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, will speak on the role of the arts in the work of reconciliation.

Date & Time:

Tuesday, March 8, 2016
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

Registration:

Admission:

Free and open to the public

Location:

JRC 126

Glenda Wildschut, one of the commissioners who served with Desmond Tutu on South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, will speak on the role of the arts in the work of reconciliation.

Wildschut is a South African human rights activist and peacebuilder. In 1995, she was appointed by South Africa’s former president Nelson Mandela to serve as a commissioner on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. She has since shared her expertise in peacebuilding and reconciliation in many countries, including Sierra Leone and Rwanda.

Wildschut’s work dates back to the early 1980s, when she began working with political prisoners, their families, exiles and orphaned returnee children in South Africa and Namibia. Since then she has dedicated herself to human rights activism, torture rehabilitation, and healing and reconciliation.

Wildschut was born into the violence and human rights abuses of South Africa. At an early age she felt the injustice of growing up in a system designed to disadvantage and oppress people of color. Wildschut was arrested and harassed by police. Determined to transcend these experiences of oppression, she obtained academic qualifications both in South Africa and the U.S., and made it her life focus to advocate for reconciliation and healing of the country’s fractured past.

A registered nurse, midwife and psychiatric nurse (specializing in child and adolescent psychiatry), Wildschut is recognized as someone who combines her professional training as a psychiatric nurse and her activism to produce meaningful effects. Early in her activism career, she collaborated with a group of health workers to establish a trauma center for survivors of violence and torture—the first center of its kind in South Africa. She is the first South African to be awarded the Health and Human Rights Award by the International Institute for Nursing Ethics. She continues to use her considerable skills, experience, passion, and commitment in the journey of reconciliation and peace in South Africa. Today, she serves as director of the University of Cape Town’s Transformation Services Office.

 

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