Art has significant potential to impact peacebuilding in areas of conflict resolution. Artistic expression offers a path to understand the perspectives of others on conflict and social injustice. Art also offers marginalized or oppressed groups a voice and a platform for expression.
Through the arts, local communities are empowered to tell their stories, to influence funders and policy makers and join them in creating meaningful change. PartnersGlobal continues to collaborate with civil society actors and the creative community to design initiatives that highlight human rights and peacebuilding.
PartnersGlobal’s early narratives work began in 2017, influenced by the great initiatives being undertaken within the network to combat polarization.
Partners Slovakia engaged in some early groundbreaking work delving into societal level polarization and were delving into how to help bring people together to accept people who’s views were “other” than their own. One great example of this is captured in their Peace Sofas campaign in 2018. This was a series of video public service shorts that had people with two polar opposite points of view sitting next to each other on couches made from two different couches attached to make one and symbolizing their differences. A public campaign was done in the museum district of Vienna that received considerable attention.
The UN Together Campaign aimed at promoting respect safety and dignity for refugees and migrants. Launched in September 2016, its aim was to counter the rise in xenophobia and discrimination. PartnersGlobal attended the UNGA meetings in 2017 and 2018 and forged a strong relationship with a team at UNDP that was interested in promoting SDG 16. We had a global competition to promote a campaign to have young creatives create slogans and posters that would be placed in Bus Stops and transportation hubs in a select number of countries.
Arts4Resilience aims to spotlight and deepen connections between artists and civil society. Featuring the works of artists operating across a variety of media to create pieces that advocate for social change, the event showcases the creations of these artists and offers them a platform to discuss their inspiration and process.
Partners for Democratic Change Slovakia (PDCS) organized the international photographic competition, CONFLICT THROUGH THE LENS. The competition, organized through the European Observatory of Online Hate project and funded by the European Commission, asked university students how they perceive conflict in contemporary societies.
Fundaciøn Cambio Democratico, the Partners Network partner in Argentina, produced a guide for civil society actors and artists looking to collaborate to use the arts for peacebuilding. The guide, originally published in Spanish, has been translated and is available in English.
The Broken Promise is an independent feature-length documentary that explores the patterns of genocide, as well as the institutional failures that allow it to occur.
PartnersGlobal co-sponsored a screening of this film featuring a talk with Nury Turkel, author of No Escape, and Mihrigul Turson, a Uygur genocide survivor, who also appear in the film.
Listen to several of the artist contributors to PartnersGlobal’s first Arts4Resilience event, speak about the connection between arts and resilience.