CfP ISA 2020: Participatory Arts in Peacebuilding contexts

Call for Papers ISA 2020: Participatory Peacebuilding

Whilst participatory approaches have long been on the research agenda in development studies, their value in peacebuilding settings is underexplored. The panel begins from the assumption that turning to these sites and practices has the potential to add value to peacebuilding debates methodologically (as academics think about new ways to produce ‘research data’), empirically (as new sites of peacebuilding and transition are opened up) and theoretically (as the fundamental tenants of what constitutes peace are questioned as a result of listening to new voices and turning to new practices). The panel builds on the AHRC and GCRF funded project ‘Changing the Story’. This has has turned to artistic and creative participatory projects as a means to explore how this can offer transformative means through which peace and peacebuilding are understood. To this end, we welcome abstracts that address the role of participatory approaches to peacebuilding, and in particular that address the following questions:

– What effect do participatory approaches have in peacebuilding contexts? How is this impact explained?
– How does a participatory approach alter what narratives of peace and peacebuilding are heard?
– What methodological challenges exist with researching these projects and their impact? How can these be overcome?
– How do different types of artistic and creative practices alter the a/effect of these interventions?
– Which aspects of peacebuilding, and which legacies of past violence, is a participatory approach best positioned to address?
– What are the dangers of a participatory approach?
– What lessons can be learned from participatory development?

Abstracts should be sent to by 26 May -who is happy to answer any questions about this too.

2nd March 2019; Panel: Art and Conflict, hosted by LSE Festival

Saturday 02 March 2019 12:45pm to 2:00pm; Hosted by LSE Festival: New World (Dis)Orders; Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building

Dr Denisa Kostovicova, Dr Nela Milic, Tom Paskhalis and Dr Ivor Sokolić will discuss the role of art and visual representation in response to conflict and dealing with its consequences.

For further info see here.

The Testimony of the Image; Symposium, London, March 6th 2019

The Testimony of the Image: Visualizing War Crimes Tribunals

As part of LCC’s Research Fortnight, this symposium will explore the visual staging of War Crimes Tribunals from Nuremburg to the ICTY. The main presentation will be by photographer Armin Smailovic, who will talk about his ‘Testimony Portraits’ of witnesses giving evidence at the ICTY and his Sounds of Silence project that deals with female survivors of wartime rape in Bosnia Herzegovinia. Max Houghton of LCC will also talk about her research on the embodied nature of testimony to war crimes tribunals from Nuremburg to Rwanda, whilst Professor James Gow of the War studies department at King’s college will discuss the theme of Pictures of Peace and Justice.

For further information see here.

Reconciliations: The Evidence of the Visible; Exhibition, London, March 6th-15th 2019

Wednesday 6 – Friday 15 March 2019
London College of Communication
Elephant & Castle, London, SE1 6SB
Free and open to all.

This exhibition explores how visual evidence of past crimes can play a role in post conflict remembrance, reconciliation and rebuilding.  Featuring artists Paul Coldwell, Nermin Divović, Ziyah Gafić,
Milena Michalski, Vladimir Miladinović and Armin Smailović.

For more information see here.

Reconciling Experience – Dance

On Wednesday 21 November, The Exchange held its first immersive dance performance, as part of the Reconciliations Exhibition.

The piece, choreographed by Roman Baca, former US Marine and current Fullbright Scholar at Trinity Laban, explored how training for war impacts the mind, body and psyche of an individual.

The space was transformed into a partially lit zone of exploration with the dancers weaving through the audience, and the artwork.  Members of the audience were invited to participate, donning arm bands, flash lights and responding to written instructions giving them a personal experience of the power of ritual, sacrifice, and military training.

Roman’s work demonstrates his own process of reconciliation as a trained dancer, then US Marine, and now as a choreographer working with material that explores the possibility of reconciliation for veterans, as they transition back into civilian life.

“I found this dance performance profoundly moving. Being a part of the movement helped me to experience the message of the dance on every level, intellectually, sensually and emotionally. This was a first for me. I found the content thought provoking and beautiful and it has stayed with me for the last few days. King’s challenges perceptions and takes risks and that is always exciting and rewarding.” Amanda Faber, Producer.

“the need for more integration of our research with art … is something we desperately need to do more of, because it not only allows to reach a population we don’t normally reach from the ivory tower, but also the communicative means to allow for true exchange with those from other backgrounds, transcending the boundaries of our identities.” Stefan Schilling, PhD Candidate, School of Security Studies

After the performance a panel with Roman, Stefan Schilling (School of Security Studies) and Melissa Abecassis (former co-director EcoME Centre for Peace and Sustainability in the West bank) discussed how dance can add to research, study and dialogues around reconciliation.

This event is one example of how SSPP’s Exchange space seeks to pioneer creative activities based on academic research within the Faculty.

The event is part of our current exhibition, Reconciliations, running in parallel at the Exchange, Bush House, King’s College London from 1 November-16 December 2018, and at the Knapp Gallery, Regent’s University London, from 1 November 2018-19 January 2019.

There will be another, different, dance performance by Touchdown Dance Co. as part of the Art and Reconcliation Symposium on Friday 30 November.  Details here.

By Jayne Peake

Continue reading “Reconciling Experience – Dance”

Artist in Residence, Milena Michalski’s work selected for ING Discerning Eye Exhibition

We’re delighted to announce that Artist in Residence, Dr Milena Michalski’s work, Harmonics & Functions, was selected for the 2018 ING Discerning Eye exhibition, which opened at the Mall Gallery on 15 November 2018 and runs until 25 November 2018.

War Requiem – English National Opera

On Thursday 22 November, Artist-in-Residence, Dr Milena Michalski, joined a panel at the English National Opera for a pre-performance discussion of Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem.  In War Requiem, Benjamin Britten juxtaposes – or reconciles –  the anti-war poetry of Wilfred Owen and the timeless ritual of the Latin Requiem Mass.

The discussion was hosted by journalist Alexandra Coghlan, with ENO Music Director Martyn Brabbins, Dr Milena Michalski, and ENO Staff Director Elaine Tyler-Hall.

Pre-performance talks 2018/19

Introduction to Britten’s War Requiem

Reconciliations Exhibition Opening 1 November 2018

Thank you to everyone who came to celebrate the opening of our exhibition, Reconcilations, at The Exchange, Bush House, King’s College London on 1 November 2018, and at the Knapp Gallery, Regent’s University London on 2 November 2018.

We had two wonderful evenings celebrating and discussing the work of all of the wonderful artists whose work is included in the exhibition, including Vladimir Miladinovic who managed to navigate the dreaded visa regime and come from Belgrade to help us install his beautiful series of ink drawings, Memoria Bosniaca, and Dejan Kaludjerovic, who designed a special display about his work, Marbles, for us to exhibit in London.  We look forward to being able to exhibit the whole installation in Sarajevo in Reconciliations II later this year. We also saw Mladen Miljanovic’s rocket launcher in operation watering the gardens in Regent’s Quad!

Artists whose work is exhibited at the Knapp Gallery also joined us last night for a fascinating and insightful discussion about reconciliation and the artistic process.  We heard from Lola Frost, Pam Skelton, Naresh Kaushai and Gunther Herbst and Emma Elliott about how they navigate contradictions and contestations in their work, and how the reconciliation of paradoxical and seemingly mutually exclusive positions could be managed but not, crucially, necessarily resolved.

We look forward to hosting some of the other featured artists from Bosnia and Hercegovina – Lana Cmajcanin and Adela Jusic (Bedtime Stories), Ziyah Gafic (The Rope), Mladen Miljanovic (MWRL) and Melos Gashi (The Tapes) later this month, and to hearing them discuss their work at the Symposium, together with partners from the Historical Museum of Bosnia and Hercegovina, Stacion – Institute for Contemporary Arts in Prishtina and the Post-Conflict Research Center, Sarajevo, who were instrumental in the commissioning of the work.

Performance: ‘Attention’ by Touchdown Dance Company, 30th Nov 2018

Touchdown create in the moment within a structured score, including concepts of proximity and space, architecture (Angus Balbernie) the poetics of movement (Steve Batts), and kinaesthetic awareness (Julyen Hamilton). This 30 minute performance will be followed by a Q&A with the dancers.
30 Nov 2018, 19:00 to 21:00pm, The Exchange, Kings College Strand Campus, London.  For further info and to register.

Talk: Photography and Art in Post Conflict Societies, 28th Nov 2018

In this event the photographer Ziyah Gafić and artist, Mladen Miljanović will discuss their work and its relation to the post war legacy of the conflict in the former Yugoslavia.
Wednesday 28 November, 14.00-16.00pm, London College of Communication
, Elephant & Castle, London.  For further info and to register.