Culture, art and conflict: Learning from the Derry-Londonderry experience

Culture, art and conflict: Learning from the Derry-Londonderry experience
By Forum for Cities in Transition
24 May 2011

Delegates attending the second annual Forum for Cities in Transition conference will learn how we have transformed our communities through the arts.

The conference is taking place this week in the Guildhall, and delegates from 12 cities will focus on culture and the arts as a part of the second day’s agenda.

The Forum for Cities in Transition brings together citizens from cities divided by conflict, with the aim of encouraging mutual learning, dialogue and the resolution of conflict through non-violent methods. The Forum works on the principle that cities that are in conflict or have emerged from conflict are in the best position to help other cities in the same situation.

Speaking at a meeting of the Derry-Londonderry forum, Michael Doherty, forum member said:

“On Tuesday we are focussing on how the people of the City have used culture and art, to bring our two communities out of conflict and help to build peace and reconciliation.

“We have specially included panel discussions to showcase the achievements of our city in the field of art and culture and to illustrate how we have brought our two communities together through performing and visual arts. We also want to show participants how we have worked to develop a shared understanding of culture.”

Panellists for this session, which is chaired by Pauline Ross of the Playhouse, are Erik Ehn from Brown University, Alice McCartney, Derry City Council, Declan Mc Gonigle and Mela Zuljevic, an international delegate.

We want delegates to go home with practical ideas and solutions that they can put into practice at home and strengthen their own efforts in peace building in their own cities. That is why we are taking delegates out of the conference hall and into our local communities and to let them and speak to people working in our communities and peace building at a local level. Delegates will visit, Culturlann, Bogside Artists, Apprentice Boys Memorial Hall, Caw and Nelson Drive re-imagining communities programme and the International School of Peace.


Notes to the editor:

  • The conference is funded by Department of Foreign Affairs, International Fund for Ireland, The American Ireland Fund and Monitor, Boston
  • Delegates from each city include Mayors, Councillors, Municipal Officers, Business Representatives and Representatives from the community and voluntary sector.
  • Approximately 70 delegates from across the world will attend the conference.
  • Names of the participating Cities: Beirut, Belfast, Derry-Londonderry, Haifa, Jerusalem, Kaduna, Kirkuk, Mitrovica, Mitte, Mostar, Nicosia and Ramallah

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