Image, Place and Conflict

30 Oct invite copy I have been busy planning the last event connected to my art exhibition ‘Falling into Place’  which is at the University of Leeds until the end of the month. When my speaker dropped out because of a work commitment, I searched around for a replacement who could bring similar expertise in film making and conflict. Thanks to Jo Berry, I found Michael Appleton. He was the producer of the BBC Everyman documentary about Jo Berry meeting Patrick Magee that was called ‘Facing the Enemy’, and that started me on this journey of research and art.

I watched this documentary in December 2001 and was both moved and fascinated. As a metaphor researcher, I also noticed how the film spoke about metaphorical journeys – out of grief, towards understanding – while showing images of real journeys – in a car, on the ferry to Ireland, walking. Our physical experience of journeys and our remembered emotions of journeys to meet someone important all feed into our understanding of journey metaphors, and I was intrigued by the film maker’s choices.

After watching the documentary, I found an email address for Jo Berry, wrote to her and told her that I’d like to analyse the metaphors in her conversations. She sent me uncut videos, I applied for a grant, and off we went on this other journey that has so far involved three research grants, amazing people to work with, a book, many journal articles, a new model of empathy, this blog, and an art exhibition.

On 30 October, I’ll have a chance to ask Michael face-to-face about those journey metaphors and the impact he wanted to have on viewers. It’s going to be a most interesting evening!

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