Key Concepts - Reconciliation

/ Analysis

The Art for Reconciliation research team is asking artists, arts producers, audiences and participants to work with us on a series of short films exploring key concepts connected to our research.


The idea is to share insights from practitioners and participants that highlight the wealth, diversity and disparity of meanings and values attached to ‘art for reconciliation’ practices.

We are particularly interested in learning about and sharing specific strategies and practices that art can provide to conflict transformation, peace building and improving community relations.

By focussing on how practitioners and audiences appropriate concepts associated with conflict transformation, we hope to show that the experience of producing and consuming art expands our understanding of what peace and reconciliation entails.

In this first series, we asked people to tell us about:

The meaning of reconciliation in the context of their own experience working or participating in the arts. The distinctive and specific contribution that their practices or projects have made to transformative outcomes associated with peacebuilding.

We set up a pop up studio and invited people to share their responses over 3 days at different venues in Derry and Belfast in early December 2019.

The series was devised and produced by Dr Alex Coupe and Pauline Hadaway (Art for Reconciliation Research team) in consultation with members of the project's Research Advisory Committee. The films were made by the project's videographer, Peter Young.


Special thanks to Greater Shantallow Community Arts Centre and Theatre of Witness and to Playhouse Derry-Londonderry, Golden Thread gallery and Seamus Heaney Centre, Belfast for their hospitality and for providing us with space to film. And to contributors: Ken Bartley, co-director Artisann gallery, Belfast; David Boyd, director Beat Carnival; Taylor Coghlan, photographer; Kenny Donaldson, Director of Services, South East Fermanagh Foundation; Paul Gallagher, PhD candidate Senator George J Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice at Queen's University Belfast; Damian Gorman, poet and playwright; Ollie Green, director Greater Shantallow Community Arts; Elaine Forde, International Culture Arts Network Coordinator at Playhouse Derry-Londonderry; Kathleen Gillespie and Anne Walker Colgan, Theatre of Witness, Derry; Peter Richards director Golden Thread gallery, Belfast.

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