Stuart Bailie to make peace with music in Colombia
BROADCAST journalist Stuart Bailie will bring his post-conflict experiences to Colombia this week as he discusses music and reconciliation.
The former Oh Yeah CEO is taking part in a Bogota music conference to talk about the relationship between music and post-conflict through the auspices of the British Council.
He will also discuss the role of the Oh Yeah Centre in Belfast as a social enterprise since opening almost 10 years ago.
Speaking ahead of the visit Stuart said: "For me music has been incredibly important for the Northern Ireland peace process. I grew up during the punk era and listened to bands such as the Clash, who had a very strong social and political content and changed my life completely.
"People here could express themselves and think of themselves as individuals, raising ideas and questioning those in power. It put us in a really positive place and allowed us to form a community – and whenn we got together, we had a very radical attitude and that changed my view towards politics and to people.
"One of the most powerful songs of the time was Stiff Little Fingers' Alternative Ulster and really helped break down barriers. Some of my greatest friends - from all backgrounds - I met during this time.
"More recently, as we ventured towards the peace process, the Oh Yeah gig that U2 and Ash played at the Waterfront changed the vote, it is believed, by 2% and set things in motion."
The British Council work with artists, bands and creatives from across the world. To find out more about the work we do visit http://nireland.britishcouncil.org