A new group of interdisciplinary researchers from Kings College, the London School of Economics and Political Science, and The University of the Arts, London have embarked on a project that looks at the role of art in reconciliation. They state that “although billions of pounds internationally have been invested in post-conflict reconciliation projects involving aspects of justice and the creative arts, there has been no study of this phenomenon as such…. the interdisciplinary project will investigate post- conflict reconciliation to address this major gap.
Here are some of the efforts they investigate. If you click the Project profile Link below, you get detailed information about each.
- Art As Foundation: mixed arts, various countries
- ArtLords: street art, Afghanistan
- Connect Arte: graffiti art, El Salvador –
- Global Arts Corps: theatre and films, various countries including South Africa, Cambodia and Northern Ireland –
- In Place of War: mixed arts, various countries –
- Minefield: theatre, Argentina and United Kingdom
- Nindibaajimomin: digital storytelling, Canada –
- Opera Circus UK and music camps: music and theatre, Western Balkans –
- Re: Construccion: traveling multimedia exhibition, El Salvador and USA –
- Search for Common Ground: participatory theatre, various countries including Rwanda, South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo –
- The War We Have Not Seen: painting, Colombia
- The Weavers of Mampuján: textile arts, Colombia –
- Yuyanapaq: photography, Peru –
What I found most interesting – and I will surely be following this group’s research efforts – was their reiterations of their first insights, as if they, too, were surprised by this:
These are questions I have not asked myself, and wonder why. I just blindly assumed reconciliation is a good thing, if not always possible to achieve.
Perhaps that’s because when we come across media reports, they are often the more uplifting stories that seem to indicate human suffering, (and our own guilt in inflicting it) can somehow be turned into something positive. Stories like this one:
Photographs are of memorials I visited.