"No Justice With Healing? No Healing Without Justice?"
Wednesday, October 19, 2022, at 7 p.m.
Room 114, Belk Library and Information Commons
BOONE, N.C. — International Human Rights expert Craig Higson-Smith is slated to speak at Appalachian State on the role of seeking justice in healing torture and genocide. Higson-Smith is a South African human rights activist and psychologist who has worked for years on the questions of healing and justice for survivors of organized violence and torture. He engaged deeply with survivors of war crimes in multiple locations including the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa and in East Africa, the Horn of Africa, West Africa, the Middle East and South East Asia. Of particular relevance to this presentation and questions of transitional justice is his work with survivors of the Democratic Republic Trials in the International Criminal Court (ICC) and Syria.
This event is free and open to the public. For a disability accomodation, visit odr.appstate.edu.
About the Lecture
That healing and justice are inseparable has become an axiom of the Global North's reckoning with atrocity and the development of peaceful societies in which people and communities are protected by the State. This paper offers a critical examination of this axiom, attempting to do so from the diverse perspectives of survivors of war-crimes, including torture and genocide. A comparison of the ways that "healing", "justice" and their assumed interdependence are constructed by the international human rights and transitional justice movements, with the ways that survivors themselves think about these constructs, provides a starting point for imagining a truly survivor-centered approach - an approach that goes beyond the milquetoast epithets of "survivor-sensitive" and "trauma-informed", an approach that more fully addresses the demands of survivors from the Global South.
About the Speaker
Craig Higson-Smith is a South African human rights activist and research psychologist who has worked on questions of healing and justice for survivors of organized violence and torture for over thirty years. Through his work he has engaged deeply with survivors of war-crimes in multiple contexts including Southern Africa, East Africa and the Horn of Africa, West Africa, the Middle East and South East Asia. Higson-Smith holds a doctorate in psychology from the University of the Witwatersrand and currently serves as the Director of Evaluation and Research at the Center for Victims of Torture.