Recasting Reconciliation Through Culture and the Arts
The work in this collection was produced in the 2003-04 Brandeis International Fellowship Program: Recasting Reconciliation through Culture and the Arts.
The goal of the program was to develop a community of inquiry among peacebuilding practitioners, artists, and cultural workers who were exploring the intersections of reconciliation, ritual, and the arts. The fellowship afforded the time and resources they would not otherwise have had to reflect on their work, to explore challenges and ethical dilemmas, and exchange ideas and strategies with colleagues.
In the working papers, portfolios, and creative projects collected here, 10 artists, cultural workers, and peacebuilders reflect on their practices, inquiring into the ways in which the arts and cultural work can and do contribute to reconciliation in historically divided communities.
Whether you are an artist or cultural worker, a peacebuilder, a student, a scholar, or a policymaker, we invite you to read and view the work presented in this collection, to consider the ideas and questions that are raised, and to immerse yourself in this vital inquiry.
Table of Contents
Each of the five collections of work created by the Fellows displays a unique approach to the project. Some teams wrote working papers; others composed exhibitions of images, text, and even sound, which can be explored as art installations.
Each collection, in its own way, illustrates the particular peacebuilding practices of its creators. Each one highlights the unique potential for art and culture to play a significant part in peacebuilding along with the challenges and dilemmas of this work. They raise important questions for further exploration.
In this section, we have synthesized what we have learned from conducting this investigation into the complex and multi-faceted relationship between the arts, culture, and reconciliation. We have incorporated here important knowledge and diverse perspectives of the ten Fellows.
This synthesis consists of three parts: What We Have Learned, Questions and Dilemmas for Reflection, and Recommendations for Policymakers and Funders.
In the first part, we present our learnings in five broad categories, highlighting the most salient and widely applicable of the Fellows' insights, articulating common themes and areas where the work of different Fellows (in different media and different parts of the world) seemed to point to similar truths.
In the second part, we articulate some of the challenging questions and dilemmas that seem to be at the core of reconciliation work in general, and arts-and-culture-based reconciliation work specifically. Here, we have highlighted those questions that cut across a number of the Fellows' reflections, and that seem to have broad and pressing relevance to the work of reconciliation.
In the third part, we put forth a set of recommendations for policymakers and funders who are concerned about the destructive effects of violent conflict and who want to support effective reconciliation initiatives. With these recommendations we have made explicit the exigencies that are implicit in the Fellows' descriptions and analyses of their work.