Dear Colleagues,


Come join us for a conversation on the role of the arts in conflict resolution and peacebuilding activities at the United States Institute of Peace on November 8 from 9:30am to 11:30am.


The arts, media and culture offer peacebuilders a unique set of tools for transforming conflict, ranging from a variety of live theatre performances and the reinvention of cultural traditions to televised episodic drama. The arts provide a window through which communities recovering from conflict can explore painful social wounds while media outlets present a method of reaching extraordinarily broad audiences in diverse and often remote locations. While some peacebuilders have been resistant to the use of arts and culture in their work, these tools are gaining traction and legitimacy in the field. As more peacebuilders embrace the use of the arts in their work, a sub-field of arts and conflict is beginning to develop. What are the implications of these trends on the field of peacebuilding in general? Where are these tools the most appropriate and how can peacebuilders better engage the arts, media and culture to our advantage?


The discussion will feature Cynthia Cohen from the Program in Peacebuilding and the Arts at Brandeis University, and Lena Slachmuijlder, the Chief Programming Officer at Search for Common Ground, and will be moderated by Sheldon Himelfarb, the Director for the Center of Innovation: Media, Conflict and Peacebuilding. 


I hope to see you there.




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can we do this online? please let me know. i am very interested. from india.

I'm also really interested but in London, so if online isn't possible, some notes from the conversation would be much appreciated! Thank you

Please check us on "//" we have used puppetry, drama and music in peace work in South Sudan. These tools help to entertain and inform fostering community agenda on peaceful resolution of disputes/conflicts. In 2006/7,  we used puppetry and drama (we trained puppeteers, script writers, musicians etc) to create awareness on pertinent community concerns such as; right to property for women, child rights, mines, small arms, SGBV among others, in promotion of peaceful return and reintegration of former combatants, refugees and IDPs in South Sudan after CPA (comprehensive peace agreement) was signed between Khartoum and SPLM/A.  Forum theater (Pedagogy and Theater of the Oppressed) was extensively used to further develop community agenda and seek solutions to issues of concern or under dispute.

I am a PhD student, pursuing a PhD in Digital Arts and Humanities, with my primary focus being in peace-building activities in Northern Ireland.  I would like to join this conversation online. Might Skype be an option?

This topic is very timely as I am researching a topic for my first course Conceptual Introduction to DAH.  I am affiliated with the Irish School of Ecumenics (Trinity College Dublin) at Belfast, NI. 

If online is not possible, could an audio transcript be made available shortly after the discussion. Thank you.


Like the most of the readers, l am also requesting that this session have an online version.I am interested in it because l have done a lot of radio programs that address conflict resolution and peacebuilding in different languages here in Kenya. I have also been and still involved in creating drama pieces that address this issue. The use of Art in addressing this critical subject is yet to get to its full potential.Art makes it easier to explain tough issues of conflict. Maria - Kenya



You have a very interesting thing would be interesting to share experiences and since we do not come far from each other.

Hello, I am an Ma student studying Expressive Arts for Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding at the European Graduate School and currently designing some third space interventions using arts and culture to generate people's participation in the peace process between the Philippine Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. I wonder if there's an online telecast or if you will be uploading a video of the discussion. Thank you.

I am most interested in art being used for peaceful purposes.  I have done so myself in some areas - mostly religious art, but not always.  When taking a dialogue group I presented first my painting of a very long bridge in the mountain country in south eastern Victoria, Australia, because this bridge has been burnt out, and also broken up by heavy rains and floods, but it is the only way in and out for the people who live in the town.  It is totally necessary for them to survive.  So is dialogue, totally necessary for you to survive, in flood, fire, peace, war, in joy and in sorrow.    Please let me know what is happening if you can, Hilarie Roseman

I agree: are any of these options possible?:

- webcast (and ability to ask questions directly or via email, text, etc);

- recording the session and posting it on youtube;

- a transcript of the session?

If so, it would be much appreciated and helpful.

Many thanks

Hi Jonathan,

I just wanted to tell you I am excited you are having this discussion! Art as advocacy is so powerful! I am in Connecticut so probably can't make it but I wanted you to know about my project, The Sudan Canvas Project, Uniting Artists to paint about the women of Sudan. The project is to raise awareness for decades of atrocities in Sudan and to  raise money to empower the women in villages in South Sudan through micro trade financing. I am happy to come and speak about it in future discussions. Hope it goes well. The link to the project is Hope you can check it out.   Cynthia


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