Initial working papers from Recasting Reconciliation through Culture and the Arts available online

The complete series of working papers and portfolios from the Brandeis International Fellowship program Recasting Reconciliation through Culture and the Arts are being finalized this summer and will be published online as they become available. The fellowship program, which took place in 2003-2004, involved 10 artists and documentors from five different regions, who are working through a variety of different artistic forms to contribute to reconciliation in their regions. Click here to learn more. The working papers and portfolios created by the fellows will launch a virtual resource center for artists, cultural workers, and peacebuilders interested in reflecting on the ethical dimensions and efficacy of their work.

As of July 1, the following two working papers are available on the Center’s website.

Read together, they suggest the wide range of ways in which the arts are contributing to intercommunal reconciliation. One focuses on Playback Theatre, an improvisational form, generally used in small group settings to facilitate the sharing of stories and the development of communities. The paper illustrates how Playback is being used in New Zealand, South India, and Fiji to empower disenfranchised people and to build relationships across difference. The other working paper focuses on drumming, documenting its impact on participants of drumming groups in Burundi and South Africa. It includes stories about Hutu and Tutsi drummers who repeatedly saved each others’ lives during outbreaks of ethnic violence. It also addresses ethical questions about importing cultural forms from one context to another.

Cynthia Cohen, director of Coexistence Research and International Collaborations, welcomes comments from readers of the working papers. Keep watching the Center online for more work from the Fellows.