The Arts of Inclusion (TAI): Examining the Role of Performing Arts for Peace Education in Conflict. A UK-Latin American Countries Network.

Lead Research Organisation: University of Glasgow
Department Name: School of Education

Abstract

This interdisciplinary network of academics (education and performing arts) and peace education advocates will critically explore the contribution made by the performing arts in developing peace education with - and the welfare of - individuals affected by violent conflict, beginning with Mexico, Colombia and Brazil. Beyond the benefits that the network will have for participants from these three countries and eventually the countries surrounding them (Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Bolivia), the network activities will benefit practitioners and NGOs working with conflict-affected individuals as well as local communities by helping to develop research-informed practices.

Examples of social arts programmes abound, but developers in conflict settings do not appear to comparatively and systematically study how and under which conditions individuals benefit from participation. This network will begin to address this gap. The proposal emerged through a collaboration between academic and non-academic colleagues in Colombia, Mexico, Brazil and the UK facilitated with an ESRC Impact Acceleration award that explored the participants' research needs. The network's initial theoretical framework is based on previous international research by the PI that investigated the uses of preforming arts for inclusion in post-conflict Northern Ireland. Nevertheless, the network will allow participants to identify key areas for further collaboration, research and capacity building to address the needs of individuals affected by conflict in their own countries. The three overlapping phases of activity during the 24-months time-frame focus on relationship building (through links among collaborators); capacity strengthening (through critically co-evaluating and sharing best practices and policies), and international development and outreach (through KE links with potential partners in other ODA countries).

The connections between academic and non-academic collaborators will be strengthened over the course of a series of 2-day workshops in Bogota, Chihuahua and Glasgow, where participants will share best practices, theories, and methodologies to support peace education activities built around the use of performing arts. The links created during these workshops will be further sustained through wide-access social media such as a dedicated Blog and Twitter. The network will expand its outreach through sharing a suite of multimedia resources developed throughout the project. These resources will include recorded practices of using performing arts for peace education, discussions and key presentations conducted during the workshops along with images of practices in situ, one policy briefing (from comparatively scoping the literature) and one practice briefing (from 9-month critical ethnographies conducted in the three countries, which will become an edited book). These resources will be shared with potential partners in other ODA countries identified through network participants, academic partners and advisory board members who already have links in these countries. To address the issue of access to resources, the materials will be available in a number of formats: video recordings via YouTube (key workshop videos will have subtitles in English and Spanish), press releases, blog posts, and through the high-visibility webpages of our collaborators, as well as through our own website. We will broadcast some of the KE activities developed during the network events and will also develop short toolkits (such as "How to" mini-tutorials and "Top 5 Strategies") for high circulation and visibility across the social media sites mentioned above. A professional media company will be commissioned to prepare a short film of network highlights for BBC pitch as an idea for a primetime documentary.

Planned Impact

Who might benefit from this research, and how might they benefit?
Our engagement and knowledge exchange (KE) will target (a) Relationship-building, (b) Capacity-strengthening and (c) International development and outreach:

(a) Relationship-building: The network partners will have the opportunity to develop long-term relationships through scoping policy and practice in Colombia, Mexico and Brazil (and neighboring low-income countries) and through international workshops. Members from the above countries will establish links in-situ through field visits in each location, to connect with non-academic collaborators such as program coordinators and leading practitioners. In Colombia, with two social arts programs: Music for Reconciliation, a program for displaced families, and Colombia Transforma, a USAID program managing 300 grants in communities greatly impacted by the conflict that are now at the forefront of the peace process, for example a peace building project Saravena led by Fundacion Prolongar. In Mexico with the NGO ConArte, responsible for the arts program Redesearte Culture of Peace that helped placate the ravaging effects of gang-war in Juarez City. In Brazil with the Playing for Change Foundation's work with children at risk/affected by gang-war. Connections with non-academics will be strengthened at workshops, and the links created sustained through wide-access social media such as a dedicated Blog, Twitter and website. The PI and Co-Is will regularly invite non-academics, for instance at the International Peace Research Association, to use these platforms as a way to share their own ideas, challenges and experiences.

(b) Capacity-strengthening: We will strengthen the capacity of non-academic collaborators by providing them with two days of workshops in Bogota, Chihuahua and Glasgow. These workshops will include structured support through presentations of previous projects using arts activities to develop peace education and social inclusion and other KE activities developed with and for members of the network. For instance, we will invite the Co-Is' students to participate: over 200 students and graduates of the Master's on Arts, Education and Peace Studies coordinated by Zapata will be invited to the workshop in Bogota, and over 200 students/graduates to the workshop in Mexico. Sharing models of best practice and developing new strategies across contexts in ODA countries will strengthen the network's capacity to cascade and implement these strategies in their own contexts. Best practices and initiatives will be shared with policy and practice leaders in the form of briefings. Links with the ministries of education and culture in Mexico, Colombia and Brazil already exist; and we will welcome the input from a prominent Latin American NGO: the International Centre for Education and Human Development (CINDE). Pineda and Acosta, CINDE regional and general directors, will provide us with insights from their 'Children and Young Peacebuilders' programme. CINDE has strong interests in arts for peace education in conditions of vulnerability in Colombia, Honduras and Bolivia, through work with families, communities and institutions. Our interdisciplinary network further adds value by providing its members with a model of networking and partnership-building inclusive of non-academics from the outset, for example developing a collaborative bid.

(c) International development and outreach: The network will expand its outreach through sharing a suite of multimedia resources, including recorded practices of using performing arts for peace education, discussions and key presentations from the workshops, images of practices in situ, and briefings. These resources will be shared with potential partners in other ODA countries identified through network participants such as CINDE, and academic partners and advisory members who already have links in these countries (for example Hulme's contacts in Honduras and El Salvador).

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description Policy input on the British Embassy Science & Innovation strategy in Colombia to build a bilateral bridge for communication around GCRF projects
Geographic Reach South America 
Policy Influence Type Implementation circular/rapid advice/letter to e.g. Ministry of Health
 
Description TAI Co-Applicant Professor Patricia González-Moreno, Faculty of Arts, Autonomous University of Chihuahua, Mexico 
Organisation University of Chihuahua
Country Mexico 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The contributions by the research team are detailed in the proposal to the AHRC and further developments incorporated into on the project's website.
Collaborator Contribution The contributions by partners are detailed in the proposal to AHRC and further developments incorporated into on the project's website.
Impact The outputs and type of collaboration are described in the project's website.
Start Year 2019
 
Description TAI Co-Investigator Professor Gloria P. Zapata, Juan N. Corpas University Foundation, Colombia 
Organisation Juan N. Corpas University Foundation
Country Colombia 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The contributions by the team are reported on the project's website.
Collaborator Contribution The contributions by partners are detailed in the proposal to the AHRC and further developments incorporated into on the project's website.
Impact The list of outcomes and the type of collaboration are described on the project's website.
Start Year 2019