LGBTQ Visions of Peace in a Society Emerging from Conflict

Lead Research Organisation: University of Ulster
Department Name: Sch of Economics & Politics

Abstract

During the Northern Irish peace process (1998 -) lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people have been excluded from participating in shaping visions of a peaceful future in both societal and political realms. The social, cultural and political import of this marginalisation remains under-examined, particularly within academic accounts of peace-building. This project seeks to redress the marginalisation of LGBTQ people in conflict transformation processes by providing them discursive and artistic fora to express their stories of political conflict, conflict transformation, and visions of peace. By analysing the processes, practices and outcomes of these expressions via the interdisciplinary application of methodologies across the arts, humanities and social sciences, the project seeks to address this critical gap in research and scholarship, at the same time generating an archive of reusable data and establishing transferable research models for use in other contexts wherein particular communities are marginalised in conflict transformation policies and processes.

A core aim of the project is to investigate the potential effects on the wider public of the embodied and visualised articulation of these stories and visions in the creative forms of theatre and photography. Performative and photographic practices have recently been successfully employed in storytelling initiatives to enhance cross-community relations in societies emerging from conflict; this project extends these researches to explore how artistic, cultural interventions by a marginalised and silenced community can help shape imaginings of a shared peaceful and inclusive future. The twin objectives of the project are therefore recognition of the histories and visions of LGBTQ people by the wider public and by policy-makers, and participation of LGBTQ people in framing broader visions of peace. The project is unique in its cross-disciplinarity, bringing together experts and practitioners in the fields of literary and gender studies, politics and conflict transformation, visual culture, photography, curating, applied drama, social work and community-building to address these key concerns. The innovative and highly collaborative nature of the project aims to stimulate creative interventions in the Northern Irish peace-building context by piloting a co-designed methodology that challenges the dominant frameworks in conflict transformation processes and research. The project aims ultimately not only to effect public perceptions of the LGBTQ community and its role in envisioning a peaceful future, but to extend that impact to policy-makers in Northern Ireland.

Planned Impact

Impact Summary

Beneficiaries:
The beneficiaries of the research project include the LGBTQ community, LGBTQ advocacy groups, policymakers, the Arts industries, and the wider community in Northern Ireland.

Summary of benefits
The LGBTQ community will benefit from a methodological approach that includes mechanisms for LGBTQ people's inclusion and active participation in shaping how a peaceful society is imagined in Northern Ireland. These visions will be disseminated in public and policy arenas connecting a community that has been marginalised by the dominant approaches to conflict transformation in the region to the policy-making community and the wider community in Northern Ireland. Through an analysis of LGBTQ people's visions of peace, the project will expose issues of marginalisation in conflict transformation policies and processes and will highlight the social and political benefits of including marginalised voices in imagining the 'peace' to policy-makers. The project will benefit the wider community by opening up dialogic space in the public arena for interrogations of the relationship between dominant and alternative visions of a peaceful society. A number of collaborating organisations have committed fully to the project creating strong research-stakeholder linkages that create concrete benefits for our collaborators (Belfast Exposed, TheatreofplucK, and Outburst) and routes for impact. For example, the project will award financial support for our collaborators to engage in the co-design of ground-breaking creative research, performances and exhibitions with the research team in a context characterised by unprecedented cuts to the Arts. Moreover, the project will enhance outreach opportunities for our collaborators and LGBTQ advocacy groups to engage with LGBTQ people on issues relating to conflict transformation processes and policies. It will provide data (participant testimonies, workshop feedback, and public questionnaire data), images and performance that can be used by LGBTQ advocacy groups to raise issues about LGBTQ people's inclusion in envisaging 'peace' in public and policy arenas. The project will benefit the Arts by highlighting its important role in representing marginalized voices and experiences in societies emerging from conflict which will encourage recognition of how the Arts not only benefits Northern Ireland's cultural economy but also its social development toward a peaceful future.

Impact strategy
Academic\stakeholder collaboration
Dissemination of key findings to LGBTQ advocacy groups and other local NGOs.
Dissemination of project framework and findings to policy-makers through a Knowledge Exchange Seminar presented at Stormont and briefing paper.
Dissemination of project findings to the wider public (including the LGBTQ community) through the Imagine: Belfast Festival of Ideas and Politics; exhibitions; theatre performance; project website; images of the performance and photographic exhibits on bus shelters; open access repositories; and mainstream and social media.
 
Title Script and Play 
Description The Director of Theatre Pluck, Niall Rea conducted a series of creative workshops with participants to produce 'Tactics for Time Travel in a Toilet. The script was co-written by Rea, and Alice Malseed with the input of the participants. The cast included Alice Malseed, Cathan McRoberts, Holly Hannaway and Warren McCook. Vicky Allen choreographed. The script explored LGBTQ equality issues in the past, present and future. Through the script and performance our participants experiences of living in a conflict transformational society were given voice as they searched for individual liberation from a conservative society and collectively envisaged new possibilities for living plural lives. The juxtaposition of the toilet with candy coloured and up-beat pop music provided a canvas for expressions of aspirations for a different future by gender and sexual minorities from within the confines of what is still a society marked by conservative influences strengthened by the nature of the conflict. 
Type Of Art Performance (Music, Dance, Drama, etc) 
Year Produced 2017 
Impact Our participants became co-creators of a script and play. They were provided with a space to realize their perspectives in creative form which will, potentially, impact their engagements with local LGBTQ groups. The script and the play brought our participants to a public audience who indicated changes in views (see dissemination activities) and also indicated an emotional response to the characters in the play and their aspirations for a plural society (see Q&A Ashe and Rea). 
 
Title Series of photographic portraits representing critical interventions in peace-building imagery 
Description Study participants attended a series of workshops in Belfast Exposed Gallery Belfast. Participants living across Northern Ireland worked over nine months with the photographer Anthony Luvera. The participants created 7 photographic portraits exploring issues of identity, representation and equality in the context of peacebuilding. The photographs included representations of LGBTQ intimacy, social roles, challenges to transphobia and family life. 
Type Of Art Image 
Year Produced 2017 
Impact The photographs reflect the aims of the project by providing space and resources for LGBTQ people to create alternative visions of peace disseminated to the public, politicians and journalists. The creative outputs were disseminated through exhibition and tour (see dissemination events); a booklet of the photographs was produced and distributed widely (see publications). 
URL http://www.belfastexposed.org/exhibition/Let_Us_Eat_Cake
 
Description Research data generated from a series of regional focus groups with LGBTQ and exclusively transgender support groups found evidence to suggest that the Northern Ireland conflict had reinforced and deepened the social inequalities experienced by these identities. The research found that the social conditions created by conflict had made it in the words of one study participant, 'difficult to exist as an LGBTQ person'. Participants recalled the reasons why many LGBTQ people left Northern Ireland during the conflict. There was a broad consensus that during the period of conflict transformation social attitudes to LGBTQ people had improved. However, participants believed that peace had not delivered the forms of security, equality and inclusion it seemed to promise for all citizens of Northern Ireland. While security increased for the wider population, LGBTQ people continued to experience different forms of insecurity. When study participants were asked about everyday life in the 'new' Northern Ireland wherein all identities were to have parity of esteem, fear and insecurity emerged as common themes. Study participants painted a picture of intermittent threats to their identities, their dignity and their security across a range of social spaces and institutions. Focus group data indicated a lack of confidence in the power-sharing institutions and in the reformed police service. The equality legislation ushered in after the 1998 Agreement was viewed as lacking practical application. Whereas the conflict had operated to create a hostile environment for LGBTQ people, the focus group data suggested that some LGBTQ people have been forced into developing fragmented identities in order to protect themselves from homophobia and trans-phobia. These individuals disclose or conceal their sexual orientation or gender identity depending on the context. Transgender individuals experience further problems. For example, some transgender individuals may find it difficult to conceal their gender identity leaving them potentially exposed to a range of insecurities and inequalities. State intervention into family life and a lack of knowledge among healthcare professional were also key concerns for the transgender participants which demonstrated that there is a need to address the role of primary welfare agencies in reducing insecurity for transgender people during conflict transformation. Overall, the research found that the failure of the Northern Ireland Assembly to pass marriage equality legislation represents only one manifestation of sexual and gender identity inequality in Northern Ireland. The peace process has delivered greater security, equity and inclusion for some citizens but peace-building has some considerable distance to travel in terms of ensuring that sexual and gender minorities can benefit from similar social changes. A central finding was that LGBTQ people are agents of social change who struggle within conflict transformational societies to create more inclusive, pluralistic and progressive visions of peace that benefit the range and depth of conflict transformation frameworks. The creative workshops conducted during the project enabled study participants to work with a photographer and theatre director to produce their visions of peace in the form of a touring photography exhibition and theatre play that brought those visions to a wider public audience. As such the project supported the creation of alternative visions of peace that represented inclusive, plural and progressive ways of living in a society still dealing with the multiple legacies of conflict which included hierarchical constructions of rights and of the national people.
Exploitation Route The findings map the inclusion/exclusion of minority sexual and gender identities from peace-building processes, practices and models which furnishes data for further inquiry by academics, policy-makers and civil society organisations. The research findings create a rationale for the integration of issues relating to sexual orientation and gender identity into peace-building practices, processes and models both regionally and internationally. The research identified examples of how political and social institutions can promote the security, inclusion and equality of LGBTQ people in societies emerging from conflict that will be beneficial to policy-makers, activists, civil society organisations and academics working the the field of peace-building. The research provides examples of how blending social science and arts methodologies can provide tools for the creation and dissemination of alternative visions of peace by sexual and gender minorities. Moreover, the research provides important theoretical and methodological resources for facilitating the inclusion of LGBTQ perspectives on peacebuilding in societies emerging from conflict, while highlighted the important role of the arts in generating forms of creative praxis.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Education,Healthcare,Government, Democracy and Justice

URL https://www.opendemocracy.net/author/fidelma-ashe
 
Description 1. The findings have been used to inform the Police service about the continuing lack of confidence LGBTQ people in Northern Ireland exhibit in terms of the PSNI. The findings were also used to inform the police service about problems surrounding the reporting of homophobic and transphobic motivated incidences and crime. Fidelma Ashe submitted a report to PSNI using data from LGBTQ Visions of Peace project on 20 October 2017. The LGBT Chair( PSNI) shared the briefing paper with the chair of the National LGBT Police network and the National Police Chief's Council lead on LGBT. Following circulation of the PSNI briefing paper at the National LGBT meeting the PI received a request from both Chair and Lead for a longer report on the overall research project and was advised that a Detective Superintendent would take the research findings to the Regional Hate Crime Meeting on Jan 22 2018. The report was presented and circulated to the North West Hate Crime sub group held at Merseyside Police Headquarters. The group is concerned with sharing information in relation to hate crime with a view to updating a national group headed by the NPCC lead. Fidelma Ashe will continue to work with the police service in both regions in relation to the findings from the research. She will also work with the NI Policing Board if the Institutions of Government become operational. The report will also be circulated at the Westminster Social Policy Forum Keynote Seminar: Next steps for transgender equality - inclusion, rights and services in June. It has been sent to advocacy groups, women's organisations and will be circulated at the KESS seminar to policymakers. The published report (PSRP) will be sent to political parties. 2. The structured audience feedback sheets indicated that the research outputs had increased the public's understanding of the relationship between LGBTQ people and peace-building. Feedback also indicated that the project had stimulated greater interest in the use of Arts to enact social change. Our LGBTQ participants therefore co-produced changes in audiences perspectives of the role of LGBTQ people in building peace which situated them as agents of social change. Co-presentation at public engagement events provided additional space for LGBTQ people to articulate their visions of peace in public arenas. This model of engagement with public audiences will be on-going. 3. Fidelma Ashe worked with faith groups during the last 6 months of the project to build consciousness around the relationship between faith and sexual and gender equality in Northern Ireland. She contacted clergy and lay members of the Churches involved in promoting LGBTQ equality and spoke to members of Church congregations. This work has led to the building of a team made up of people of faith and clergy to examine ways forward to increase public visibility of liberal perspectives within faith organisations and to raise awareness about the positive roles faith organisations can play in promotion LGBTQ equality and inclusion. Impact work has been developed through utilizing input and guidance from the NGOs that supported the project.
First Year Of Impact 2017
Sector Security and Diplomacy,Other
Impact Types Cultural,Societal,Policy & public services

 
Title LGBTQ Visions of Peace: Focus Group Data 
Description Focus groups were conducted to gain LGBTQ perspectives on peace-building processes in Northern Ireland and to provide a basis for the visions of peace that will be developed through the photography and theatre workshops. The focus group methodology followed the ethical protocols approved by Ulster University and Queen's University. The PI conducted 14 focus groups between 30 August 2016 and 23 February 2017 with LGBTQ and transgender groups based in North Belfast, South Belfast, Enniskillen, Newtownabbey, the North West and Omagh. The recruitment of participants was facilitated through the Rainbow Project, Focus: The Identity Trust and was also promoted through dissemination events. Agreement to participate was lower than expected due to a decline in the number of people attending LGBTQ support/friendship groups in particular locations. Group facilitators attributed diminishing numbers to a lack of resources and/or fear that if a person was seen attending the group it might compromise their security. Each focus group employed a semi-structured discussion guide and lasted 1 hour 45 minutes on average. Age categories ranged from 20 years old to 70 years old. The discussion guide was adapted in relation to age, location and participant availability. Participant availability resulted in the number of focus groups conducted with each regional group ranging from 1-4. Data was recorded using a mix of note-taking and digital voice recording. Additional focus groups will be held throughout the duration of the project as the process of data analysis and interpretation continues. The focus group sessions covered the following thematic areas: (1) dominant and marginalised perspectives in envisaging peace (2) the inclusion and exclusion of LGBTQ people in Northern Ireland society before the 1998 Agreement (3) the inclusion and exclusion of LGBTQ people after the 1998 Agreement (4) the role of the institutions established or reformed after the 1998 Agreement in creating LGBTQ inclusion and exclusion (5) LGBTQ visions of an inclusive, peaceful society. Findings: During the focus groups LGB&Q participants discussed the questions in relation to sexual orientation, while transgender participants discussed the questions in relation to their gender identity. The data collected from the series of 14 focus groups indicated that before 1998 conservative social attitudes, conservative and often highly masculinised social institutions and the broader security situation had created an exceptionally difficult environment for LGBTQ people leading to feelings of social alienation, fear and insecurity. Focus group data indicated that from the perspective of LGBTQ people there had been advances in equality and social inclusion since the 1998 Agreement. However, participants also indicated that LGBTQ people had not gained equality or parity of esteem in terms of shaping the broader peace process. Focus group data indicated that LGBTQ people continue to experience homophobia and trans-phobia in their everyday lives. Focus group discussions suggested that LGBTQ people continue to experience discrimination in the labour market, the workplace, in churches, schools and in hospitals, and also in a variety of public spaces. In terms of the peace process the focus group data indicated that LGBTQ people view Northern Ireland as the least advanced region of the UK and as gradually falling behind the Republic of Ireland in terms of equality. Across the regional focus groups participants indicated a general lack of confidence in the capacity of key elements of the process of conflict transformation to create an inclusive and safe environment for LGBTQ people. Problems with policing, the persistence of paramilitary groups, the limitations of post-1998 equality legislation, and resistance to change by some politicians and civic society organisations were highlighted by the participants. Transgender people indicated additional issues relating to fear of social services, and a lack of understanding of transgender issues in the medical profession and in the broader society. A set of difficulties pertaining to the process of transition were also highlighted. The focus group data indicated that participants envisaged a peaceful society as one in which social groups that had experienced historical forms of discrimination would be given parity of esteem, security and full equality. Particular organisations in Northern Ireland were identified as engaged in creating new forms of inclusion/recognition and participants were keen to highlight the value they placed on those interventions. Self-help, lobbying and activism designed to create meaningful change emerged as the main road map for achieving these aspirations. The development of resilience and investments in supporting others characterized the focus group population. The participants stressed that their preferred strategy for removing barriers to equality, inclusion and parity of esteem was education and forms of lobbying. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact 1) The database captured how LGBTQ people experienced additional forms of inequality and insecurity during political conflict and how those inequalities and insecurities have persisted in the conflict transformation period. 2) Due to the qualitative nature of the data, the research furnished examples of historical and more recent experiences of homophobia and trans-phobia highlighting core arenas of inequality and insecurity. 3) The data collected provides an empirical basis to make claims for peace-building policy and practice to engage more fully with LGBTQ issues and also provides a rationale for the greater inclusion of LGBTQ people's perspectives in peace building activities. 4) The data set provides empirical evidence of the role of LGBTQ individuals as agents of change during conflict transformation in Northern Ireland. 5) The data captured a series of concrete recommendations by focus group participants for improving inclusion, security and equality for LGBTQ individuals. 6) The data indicates a need to conduct further research on LGBTQ people in societies emerging from conflict and highlights the need to promote informed and open policy discussions about the inclusion of issues of sexual orientation and gender identity in peace-building activities. 
 
Description Belfast Exposed Gallery 
Organisation Gallery 8
Country Hungary 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution The research team provided the creative framework to produce an exhibition of LGBTQ Visions of Peace. We also recruited participants, managed travel, subsistence and accommodation, and highlighted the work of the gallery through the team's networks. Dr. Gander co-organised the series of workshops. She also organised and had oversight of the inclusion of the main photography outputs within the Outburst Festival. The work of the gallery has been highlighted in our publications and reports. We will continue to collaborate in terms of dissemination activities with the Gallery.
Collaborator Contribution Belfast Exposed procured an artist to produce the project's photographic images. They hosted the icebreaker event, provided workshop space, advertising materials and curated the final exhibition of photographs.
Impact Production of photographic images; series of workshops; photography exhibition and launch of the creative outputs.
Start Year 2016
 
Description TheatreofplucK Theatre Company 
Organisation TheatreofplucK
PI Contribution Dr Lehner researches and assesses past and current productions in terms of their impact on the audience; conduct audience response workshops with artistic director; conduct interviews with members of the company and selected audience members of shows. Dr Lehner is acting as Board Member to the company.
Collaborator Contribution Dr Rea (artistic director) facilitated workshops for participants; he is also helping to plan to deliver post show discussions and workshops to evaluate audience response, and provides access to materials (play scripts, feedback forms, recordings, etc.) of past productions, as well as general consultation and support.
Impact Stefanie Lehner, 'Parallel Games' and Queer Memories: Performing LGBT Testimonies in Northern Ireland. Irish University Review, Volume 47 Issue 1, Page 103-118, ISSN 0021-1427 (https://doi.org/10.3366/iur.2017.0259)
Start Year 2016
 
Description Being Human Event: CREATIVE INTERVENTIONS IN POST-CONFLICT NARRATIVE: QUEER VISIONS OF PEACE 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The event included a discussion, screening and exhibition of the creative processes and outputs of the AHRC and PaCCS funded project 'LGBTQ Visions of Peace in a Society Emerging from Conflict'. The project has aimed to relocate - to 'find' - the ignored and marginalised - the 'lost' - contributions and stories of LGBTQ people in imagining what a peaceful society could and/or should look like, post conflict. Following from focus groups, photography and performance workshops were hosted and facilitated by experienced professionals from Belfast Exposed and TheatreofplucK. They were designed to generate a range of creative and discursive practices to give voice, visibility and reach to representative LGBTQ visions of peace. Now, open to the public in Belfast and beyond, and presented to several members of the Northern Ireland Assembly, the outcomes of the project aim for social and political impact on notions and narratives of peaceful, inclusive living. The project also runs in collaboration with The Rainbow Project and Outburst Queer Arts festival, and its reach will extend across communities to ensure that that which has been 'lost' can be 'found', and remain so.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/ael/Research/Arts/ResearchImpact/BeingHumanFestival/Creativeinterventi...
 
Description Creative Workshops Information Day 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact Purpose:
The information day was designed to enable potential participants to visit the venues where the creative workshops would be held, meet the facilitators and view some of the facilitators' work with LGBTQ people and groups. Moreover, the event enabled all potential participants to ask questions related to the creative workshops.

Activities:
The researchers identified the overarching themes that emerged in the focus groups to provide a basis for thinking through the next stage of the research. The creative workshop facilitators, Niall Rea (director Theatreofpluck) and the Australian artist Anthony Luvera (Coventry University) presented some key examples of their photography and theatre work with LGBTQ people. The facilitators also provided short taster sessions of the activities that would be used in the creative workshops in each of the venues.

Outcomes:
All participants provided feedback that indicated that the event had given them greater insight into the methods that would be utilized in the workshops. In terms of those who attended a very high proportion requested a place in the creative workshops.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Knowledge Exchange Seminar at Stormont 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact The PI, with input from the research team, successfully applied to the KESS seminar series at Stormont. '"KESS is a formal partnering of a legislative arm of government - the Assembly - with academia. It seeks to bring research findings to the attention of key participants and decision-makers in the policy and law-making processes in Northern Ireland'. Attendees include: MLAs and their staff; political party staff; Assembly and Departmental officials; others from the public and private sectors; academics; voluntary and community groups; and, members of the public. The KESS seminar was scheduled for November 2017 and then moved to April 18 2018. The presentation on LGBTQ Visions of Peace was scheduled under the theme of dealing with the past which signals recognition of the project's thesis that LGBTQ rights are issues related to the legacy of the conflict.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.niassembly.gov.uk/assembly-business/research-and-information-service-raise/knowledge-exch...
 
Description Let Us Eat Cake Blog 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact During the photography workshops participants detailed their activities that led to the production of the photographs exhibited during the Belfast Exposed Exhibition and theatre tour. The blog provides a record of the process of developing the creative outputs and contact details for further information are provided.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017,2018
URL http://letuseatcake.blog/contact/
 
Description Let Us Eat Cake Exhibition and Tour 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The Let Us Eat Cake Exhibition displayed the photographs from the project for 10 days in Belfast Exposed Gallery which enabled the public to view the photographs. The photographs were also exhibited at venues during the tour of the play. Audiences were given structured feedback sheets that indicated that viewers increased their understanding of the LGBTQ visions of peace and the role of the creative arts in facilitating the creation and inclusion of those visions in public places.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017,2018
URL http://www.belfastexposed.org/exhibition/Let_Us_Eat_Cake
 
Description Outburst Festival 2017: Launch of the Project Creative Outputs 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Purpose: The purpose of the event was to launch the creative outputs from the project. The event was held in Belfast Exposed Gallery and included talks by the PI, the Visiting Artist and TheatreofPluck director during the opening of the photography exhibition. Moreover, it provided an opportunity for researchers and participants to celebrate outcomes of the project. Attendees had the opportunity to mingle with the researchers, director and visiting artist. The opening of the photography exhibition was followed by a performance of the play. Outcomes: The event informed the public about the aims of the research and disseminated the creative outcomes to a public audience. Structured audience feedback sheets indicated that audience members' increased their knowledge of the role of the creative arts in facilitating the inclusion of LGBTQ perspectives on peace in public spaces. Moreover, feedback indicated greater appreciation of the need to challenge forms of exclusion through creative initiatives. LGBTQ audience members were able to view LGBTQ perspectives on peace in a public gallery in the centre of Belfast. Moreover, the opening of the play enabled audiences to experience the tensions, difficulties, perspectives and aspirations of LGBTQ people in a society emerging from conflict through performance and voice.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.belfastexposed.org/exhibition/Let_Us_Eat_Cake
 
Description PI Article on Open Democracy - Northern Ireland needs new LGBTQ-inclusive visions of peace 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Fidelma Ashe published a short article in Open Democracy highlighting the rationale for the focus groups and outlined some of the findings that emerged from those groups. The article contended that LGBTQ Visions of Peace as articulated during the focus groups offered Northern Ireland an inclusive and progressive framework for imagaging and building peace. The author argued that such visions are important at a time of on-going political stalemate in Northern Ireland. The article was viewed by Open Democracy's wide-ranging readership. I received email inquiries about the research from academics in the UK working on developing alternative understandings of peace at a theoretical level. I also received a number of communications from LGBTQ people including the participants who underlined the importance of the article for raising equality issues within peace-building. In those emails several of the participants reaffirmed their commitment to developing the research further.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.opendemocracy.net/5050/fidelma-ashe/northern-ireland-progressive-lgbtq-inclusive-peace
 
Description PI Dangerous histories; Oral History Society conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Fidelma Ashe will present a conference paper at the Dangerous Oral Histories: Risks, Responsibilities and Rewards Oral History Society and Oral History Network of Ireland Joint Annual Conference, 28-29 June 2018. The paper will explore the inclusion of marginalised voices in the history of the NI conflict.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017,2018
URL http://www.ohs.org.uk/
 
Description PI Lecture with Transgender Policy Adviser hosted by International Women Day 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Fidelma Ashe co-presented a public lecture with Frances Shiels, Policy advisor to Focus Identity Trust and member of the Gender Identity Panel Northern Ireland. The theme of this year's International Women's Day was 'No Woman Left Behind' and consequently provided a perfect events programme to include issues relating to LGB women and transgender women. Against a background of public and political discourse concerning the place of LGBT rights in Northern Irish political negotiations and discussions around the place of transgender women in feminism the lecture framed LGB and transgender women as agents of social change rather than representing a political problem that needs to be 'solved' or 'resolved'. The theme of the lecture and co-presentation by the researcher and Frances Shiels reflected the project's central aim of giving voice and facilitating inclusion for LGBTQ people in shaping narratives surrounding peace-building. Prior to the lecture a group of younger attendees had indicated that they were keen to attend to extend their knowledge of this area of politics. I had several requests from members of women's organisations for further information on the project and sent outputs from the creative workshops, reports and publications to those who contacted me.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://issuu.com/reclaimtheagenda/docs/iwd18ni
 
Description PI Presentation to Corrymeela 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Fidelma Ashe gave a presentation to the Corrymeela Community. The presentation considered findings from the focus groups and creative workshops that related directly to the relationship between faith, sexuality and gender identity. There was considerable support for moving these issues forward through working with particular faith-based groups engaged in work designed to address LGBTQ equality issues, for example, through services inclusive of LGBTQ people and events to recognize and address inequalities. The meeting also enabled Ashe to develop recommendations for improving inclusion and equality for LGBTQ people outlined in the Political Settlements Research Project report.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.facebook.com/Corrymeela/photos/pb.76350897546.-2207520000.1498154320./10154860915427547/...
 
Description PI Presentation to Faculty: Interdisciplinary Research: Blending Social Science, Humanities and the Performing Arts 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Fidelma Ashe presented a lecture discussing interdisciplinary research with a focus on the roles of the Arts in framing and re-framing research findings emerging from focus groups. The lecture stimulated discussion on combining Arts and Social Science methods. Moreover, it led to explorations surrounding developing blended methodologies in conflict-related research in multiple international contexts.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description PI Public Lecture housed within Imagine: Belfast Festival of Ideas & Politics 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Purpose:
Fidelma Ashe presented a lecture hosted by the Imagine Festival. The event was organised to disseminate the empirical data generated through the focus groups to a public/policy audience. Additionally, given the diversity of the audience that attends the Imagine: Belfast Festival it provided an opportunity to gain feedback from a range of stakeholders.

Activity:
The event was advertised by Imagine: Belfast. Invitations were sent to all of the Northern Ireland political parties, selected NGOs and academics. Activities included a presentation of the aims, objectives and methodological framework of the research; dissemination of the initial research findings under a set of thematic headings; a Q&A session; and distribution of a briefing paper.

Outcomes:
The outcomes of the event included: an invitation to present the research findings to Corrymeela, Northern Ireland's oldest peace and reconciliation organisation which is also a dispersed Christian Community. Northern Ireland politicians unable to attend the event requested invitations to forthcoming dissemination sessions. The PI received an invitation to attend a Gender Identity Ireland Event. Dahlia Naji currently working for Swedish national television requested further information about the project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://imaginebelfast.com/events-at-a-glance/
 
Description PI Specialist Political Studies Association Panel Sexuality and Gender in Northern Ireland 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Fidelma Ashe organised and convened a specialist panel at the Political Studies Association Conference 2018 to discuss the research framework and findings with sub-field academic specialists.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.psa.ac.uk/conference/psa-annual-international-conference-2018/gender-sexuality-and-north...
 
Description PI YouTube Video 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Fidelma Ashe worked with Bespoke Communications (fee paid by Ulster University) to make a YouTube video explaining the concept of marginalised visions of peace and their potential progressive impact on peace-building. This accessible video outlined the process through which dominant groups envisage peace and illustrates how other visions, in this case LGBTQ visions are sidelined. The video presentation suggested that LGBTQ visions of peace identified through focus groups highlighted that LGBTQ visions of peace were inclusive, progressive and forward looking. The video has just been added to YouTube and has received a considerable number of views already. I received a number of requests from international scholars for further information on the project and from activists and the media.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://youtu.be/zKzq5aubMik
 
Description PI meeting and submission of reports to PSNI and GB police service 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Fidelma Ashe arranged a meeting at PSNI HQ with 4 serving members of the PSNI to disseminate and discuss the research findings generated by the focus groups including low confidence by LGBTQ in the Police Service combined with issues surrounding reporting crime. The PI submitted a briefing paper to provide further information to the PSNI on these issues with a view to examining these issues further. The paper was circulated to members of the UK National LGBT Police Conference in 2017 leading to a request for a further report from the PI that was submitted to the GB police service in January 2018 (see impact).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017,2018
 
Description Performance and Tour of Theatre Play 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The theatre Play 'Tactics for Time Travel in a Toilet' opened in the Barrack on 12 November 2017 with performances for a further 2 weeks. The play was sold-out.During January 2018 it toured venues in Derry (The Playhouse); Sligo (Sligo Institute of Technology) and Newry (Arts Centre). Fidelma Ashe and the Director conducted a Q & A session at the end of the performance stimulating debate among audience members and informing the audience as to the next steps in developing the research. The audience were given structured feedback sheets which indicated that experiencing the play increased audience understanding of LGBTQ perspectives on peace and the role of the Arts in capturing, framing and communicating those perspectives. Journalists who attended the play published reviews which considered and disseminated the themes of the play and the project to a wider audience (Chris McCormack, Exeunt Magazine; Alan Meban, journalist at Alan in Belfast; Jane Coyle, The Even Hand).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017,2018
URL http://outburstarts.com/tactics-time-travel-toilet/
 
Description Queer Visions of Home: Project Springboard Event housed within the Outburst Queer Arts Festival and hosted by Belfast Exposed Art Gallery. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Purpose:
The Springboard Event was designed to inform the general public, NGOs and politicians about the aims and objectives of the research. In addition, the event housed within Northern Ireland's largest Queer Arts festival and hosted by Belfast Exposed Gallery was held to promote interest and participation in the research through an exploration of the role of creative methodologies in facilitating the expression of marginalised voices/perspectives in public spaces.

Activities:
The event was opened by the Sinn Féin deputy Lord Mayor of Belfast who discussed the place of the research in relation to issues of inclusion and equality in a society emerging from conflict. Each member of the research team outlined the methodological tools that would be utilized during the project to facilitate the creation of LGBTQ visions of peace through voice, image and performance. The event hosted art and discussion by Ciara Hickey (curator at Belfast Exposed), Niall Rea (director and founder of TheatreofplucK), Eoin Dara (curator at the MAC) and John O'Doherty (director of the Rainbow Project). All of the presenters provided concrete examples of how creative technologies can be utilized to support the dissemination of LGBTQ perspectives in public spaces. A question and answer session that was extended on the day enabled a public audience that included members of the LGBTQ community, NGOs, and politicians to learn about and discuss the aims and objectives of the project with the research team and project partners.

Outcomes:
The event informed a public and political audience of the role of the creative arts in creating spaces for LGBTQ voices and perspectives; provided a discursive space to exhibit and share methodological tools designed to facilitate the expression of LGBTQ perspectives and histories; provided a networking opportunity for those interested in LGBTQ equality issues; generated many requests for information about forthcoming dissemination events.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://outburstarts.com/queer-visions-of-home/