Theatre & Peacebuilding Resources
PEACE BUILDING ORGANIZATIONS
Arts for Peace Foundation, Ireland The Arts For Peace Foundation’s central mission is to develop a residential facility, which provides practical programmatic excellence in education, therapy and recreation for children in Ireland and abroad with a goal of development of peaceful co-existence. Using shared interests through common creative and co-operative experiences, programmes to develop tolerance, healing, mutual understanding, trust and friendship are created and a worldwide network of peace advocates is created.
Centre for Playback Theatre The purpose of Playback Theatre is to encourage and foster individual human rights and community dialogue through personal improvisational theatre by facilitating the narration of diverse opinions, recollections and stories; listening; empathy; vitality; and hope. Playback Theatre is based in New Paltz, New York, USA, but operates throughout the world.
The purpose of the everyday gandhis project is to tell the stories of ordinary people creating peace in their communities, particularly in ‘hot spots’ around the world, utilizing media of all types (visual, written, spoken).
Global Exchange is an international human rights organization dedicated to promoting environmental, political and social justice. Since our founding in 1988, we have increased the US public’s global awareness while building international partnerships for peace and democracy.
The Interdisciplinary Genocide Studies Center (IGSC) – Rwanda is a nonprofit organization based in Kigali, Rwanda.
IGSC’s mission is to testify, to study genocide through rigorous cross-disciplinary scholarship, and to understand various mechanisms and structures of violence, with the goal of preventing genocide and mass violence. Jean-Pierre Karegeye (Director of Interdisciplinary Genocide Studies, University of California at Berkeley) and Erik Ehn (Dean of the School of Theater, California Institute of the Arts) first met in Kigali three years ago. They resolved to create a space for the study of the Rwandan Genocide. The initiative has involved theater artists, filmmakers, human rights activists, politicians, survivors, religious practicioners, researchers, students and scholars from various disciplines and countries, whose practice engages questions of testimony, reconciliation, peace building, human rights and dignity.
PEN Center USA PEN USA is a non-profit membership organization made up of writers of every stripe working west of the Mississippi. Its members are connected by the goals of building interest in the written word and defending writers worldwide.
International PEN was founded in London in 1921 in the aftermath of World War I, in a period of hatred between nations. The founder, Catharine Amy Dawson Scott, was convinced that if the writers of the world could reach out to each other, then the nations of the world could eventually learn to do the same. She was joined by eminent writers of her day, including Joseph Conrad, George Bernard Shaw and John Galsworthy, PEN’s first president. The early founders of PEN realized that for any community of letters to thrive, the freedom of the individual writer must also be protected. Thus before Amnesty International began, PEN was working for the release of writers around the world who were prisoners of conscience. Today, PEN is composed of 144 centers in Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, the Middle East, and the Americas with a total membership of approximately 15,000.
Slifka Program in Intercommunal Coexsistence – Brandeis University
Managing intercommunal conflict and violence is critical to national and international security in today’s world. Societies are becoming more diverse, and many more countries are facing ethnic, religious, cultural, and social conflicts. The globalization of such conflicts is also increasing. There is a crucial need to bring greater professional expertise and creative leadership to bear upon the challenges posed by these conflicts. The Master’s Program in Coexistence and Conflict at Brandeis University is intended to meet these challenges. The publication FOCUS ON COEXISTENCE AND THE ARTS offers useful ways to articulate this increasingly important relationship.
University for Peace Headquartered in Costa Rica, the United Nations-mandated University for Peace (UPEACE) was established in December 1980 as a Treaty Organization by the UN General Assembly. As determined in the Charter of the University and endorsed by the UPEACE Council, the mission of the University for Peace is: “to provide humanity with an international institution of higher education for peace with the aim of promoting among all human beings the spirit of understanding, tolerance and peaceful coexistence, to stimulate cooperation among peoples and to help lessen obstacles and threats to world peace and progress, in keeping with the noble aspirations proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations.” At present, the UPEACE Costa Rica Campus has 124 students from 37 different countries, making it one of the most diverse universities in the world for its size. UPEACE is the only institution in the UN family authorized to grant degrees at the Master’s and Doctoral levels. The language of instruction is English.
World Culture Forum Alliance
The World Culture Forum Alliance is devoted to the priority of cultures before trade and commerce in the age of globalization, to the acknowledgement of cultural rights and the peaceful encounter of cultures worldwide. WCFA strives to maintain and expand cultural diversity and memory as key factors of sustainable human development and survival in the forming of knowledge societies around the world.
TRAINING AND CURRICULUM
We see a building interest in the field towards theatre with a sense of social responsibility. While little curriculum for study is yet available, theatre training programs are developing in this area. Here are some of those programs.
- California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, California
- University of San Francisco, Performing Arts and Social Justice, San Francisco, California
- Eastern Mennonite University, Center for Justice and Peace Building, Harrisonburg, Virginia
- Rhode Island College, Theatre Performance and Society, Providence, Rhode Island
- Brandeis University, The International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life, Waltham, Massachusetts
- Yale University, Genocide Studies Program, New Haven, Connecticut
- New York University, Performance Studies: Institute of Performing Arts, Art & Public Policy, New York City
- Brown University, Theatre and Performance Studies, Providence, Rhode Island
- Makerere University, Department of Peace and Conflict Studies, Kampala, Uganda
- University for Peace , Costa Rica