Culture and Conflict

Culture is deeply embedded both in the substance of conflicts and the way in which people deal with conflicts. This is a partnership between the Commonwealth Foundation and the Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development which supports specific groups to develop and deliver cultural projects which have a positive impact in areas of conflict and post conflict, such as Women Filmmakers of Zimbabwe and Laajverd, producers of comic strips in Pakistan.

The Culture and Conflict programme was a three year initiative to use culture to engage with people and communities in four countries which have undergone recent social upheaval and conflicts – Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, Rwanda and Pakistan. It awarded grants and carried out research with eight organisations working in this field:

Zimbabwe – zim.doc, Women Filmmakers of Zimbabwe and Mindblast, Pamberi Trust

Sri Lanka – Voices in Peacetime – Her-Stories of Resilience & Hope, Viluthu and SINTAMU, Natanda Dance Theatre of Sri Lanka

Rwanda – East African Nights of Tolerance, Amizero Kompagnie and Youth Centre for Art Therapy (YOUCART), Ivuka Arts

Pakistan – Bacha Bulletins, Laajverd and This is my story: Dialogue with Pakistan,  The Citizens Archive of Pakistan

In February 2014 representatives from these organisations will begin to establish an online network to support those working in this area, particularly those who’re working in collaboration with civil society organisations that are using the arts to engage with communities to build peace and reconciliation.