In May 2015 (26 – 28) we organised the international conference Art in Conflict - A practitioner's forum on the potential and limitations of art initiatives in processes of social transformation and peace building at the Zurich University of the Arts.
More than 90 practicioners, researchers and organisers from 26 countries participated in this conference, which was initiated and organised by artasfoundation and supported by the Swiss Development Cooperation Agency (SDC) and the Zurich University of the Arts. The „Practitioner’s Forum“ created a space for self-reflextion and exchange of experience-based knowledge and trans-disciplinary practices. During the conference, we held various discussions and presentations, experienced experts conducted working groups on specific topics and artists could discuss open questions in collectiv feedback sessions.
The discussions in the conference did not glorify the potential contribution, which art can make in processes of peace building and social transformation and peace building. The goal was to discuss difficult and self-critical questions, a process for which there is often not enough time in practical project work, but also to exchange positive experiences and productive strategies. We also fostered communication between practicioners and members of donor institutions, two partners who often are influenced by differing expectations and self-concepts.
More information about workshops and participants on the conference find here.