Imagining Peace: In Conversation with Mark Isaacs and Benjamin Gilmour

Imagining Peace: In Conversation with Mark Isaacs and Benjamin Gilmour

On Thursday 17 August from 5-7pm at the Northern Rivers Community Gallery (NRCG) in Ballina, acclaimed author, journalist, and photographer Mark Isaacs will join award-winning writer, director, and paramedic Benjamin Gilmour in conversation. They will share insights from their personal experiences of peacebuilding and conflict in Afghanistan, reflecting upon the situation since the collapse of Western occupation and the Taliban’s return to power, and what this means for the Afghan people.

Both local to the Northern Rivers, each speaker has extensive experience working on the frontlines of conflict around the world and bring deeply human, ground-level perspectives to their analysis of conflict and peace.

Mark will share the story of the Peace House – a community of young Afghan men and women devoted to peace, and the subjects of his book Kabul Peace House, describing their work up to the fall of Kabul and what has happened to its young members since the Taliban took control of the country. Ben will share insights from his recent trip to Afghanistan where he met with Taliban leaders.

Mark Isaacs is a writer, photographer, researcher, and community worker. His work focuses on stories of conflict, displacement and forced migration, taking him to locations such as Afghanistan, Mexico, Myanmar and Nauru. He is the author of three books and his journalistic work has been published in a range of Australian and international academic, literary and news publications. Mark’s exhibition Imagining Peace: A portrait of modern Afghanistan is on display at NRCG from 28 June to 20 August 2023.

Benjamin Gilmour is a writer and filmmaker, director of Jirga (2019) – Australia’s entry to the 91st Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film, Paramedico (2012), Son of a Lion (2019), and author of Warrior Poets, and Paramedico – Around the World by Ambulance. Based in Northern NSW he is also a public health consultant, certified Psychedelic Assisted Therapy practitioner, and ambulance paramedic with 26 years’ frontline experience in Australia and internationally.

This event is a fundraiser for Ballina Region for Refugees – an organisation that supports and advocates for refugees and asylum seekers in the region. Entry by donation is appreciated, but not compulsory.

Registrations are not required for this event, but seating is limited and subject to capacity.

Event Details:

Date: Thursday 17 August 2023

Time: 5pm – 7pm

Location: Northern Rivers Community Gallery, 44 Cherry Street Ballina

Ages: Open to all

Cost: Free (entry by donation appreciated but not compulsory)

For enquiries contact NRCG’s Creative Programs Producer Ella Millard on 02 6686 0530 or [email protected]

The Northern Rivers Community Gallery is located at 44 Cherry Street Ballina and is open Wednesday to Friday 10am until 4pm and weekends from 9.30am until 1pm. For further information contact the Gallery on 02 6681 0530 or

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