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A Conference on Gender and the use of Arts-Based Methods to Understand Conflict, Prevent Violence and Build Peace


The Conference will take place on Zoom, 16-18 November 2021.

In recent years, scholars, policy makers and practitioners have begun to acknowledge the benefits of using arts-based methods for violence prevention, peacebuilding and understanding the impacts of conflict.

However, the ability of arts-based methods to explore gendered experiences of violence and conflict and to prevent and respond to gender harms remain under explored. The Conference aims to address this gap by bringing together artists, academics, activists and representatives from civil society and governments.

The Conference will focus on linking participants across disciplines and backgrounds to highlight the potential of the arts and art-based methods in addressing gender issues in conflict situations and peacebuilding.

Find below the conference schedule (times are GMT).


Tuesday, November 16 

9:30-9:45 am 

Welcome Address

  • Daniele Rugo, Brunel University London

  • Kirsten Ainley, Australian National University

  • Sahla Aroussi, Leeds University


Panel: Resistance and Reparation

Chair: Kirsten Ainley, Australian National University.

  • Memorialisation Through Art-Making: Possibilities for Reparative Truth-Telling for Women in Sri Lanka.

    • Lucy Geddes, Public Interest Advocacy Centre; University of New South Wales & Shyamala Gomez, Centre for Equality and Justice, Colombo.

  • Tools of Resistance: Women and Art in Afghanistan.

    • Maya Weisinger, Program Coordinator, Culture Action Europe.

11:15 am-12:30 pm 
Roundtable: Imaging Social Justice

Chair: Jelke Boesten, King’s College London (KCL), co-convenor of King’s Visual and Embodied Methodologies Network

  • Ivana Bevilacqua, KCL: Puzzling: The Sensory Politics of Infrastructure.

  • Mary Anna Vargas, KCL: Making Song.

  • Andrea Espinoza, KCL: Portraying indigenous women: Between endurance and resistance.

  • Rosa Heimer, KCL: Stitching voices, stitching bodies: Latin American survivors mapping coloniality, violence and resistance.

  • Tiffany Fairey, KCL: The Home Stay Exhibitions.

All works can be viewed here in full process:

And here in a summary-video presentation (approx 40 minutes):


5:00-5:50 pm
‘In Conversation’

  • Xavier Verhoest, Co-Founder, Art2Be Kenya

  • Nicholas Songora, Executive Director Manyatta Youth Entertainment- MAYE

  • Sahla Aroussi, Leeds University 

6:00-7:00 pm 
Screening of 'SEMA'

A documentary film produced by the National Movement of Survivors in DRC, Movement National des Survivantes



Wednesday, November 17

10:00-10:45 am 
‘In Conversation’

  • Stephen Oola, Director, Amani Institute of Uganda

  • Kirsten Ainley, Australian National University

11:15 am-12:00 pm 

Panel: Theater and Film in Conflict

Chair: Daniele Rugo, Brunel University London

  • Theater: a tool of empowerment for women in conflict

    • Farah Wardani, Artistic Director, Laban Lactic Culture

  • What the Wind Took Away: Yazidi Women, Life in a Refugee Camp

    • Helin Celik, Six Pack Film​

3:00-4:00 pm 

Panel: The Power of Art-Based Methodologies

Chair: Sahla Aroussi, University of Leeds

  • Empowering Women through Arts-Based Methodologies in Somalia

    • Chiara Camozzi & Abdulkadir Mohamed, Comitato Internazionale per lo Sviluppo dei Popoli  

  • Visual Art in Researching Gang: A tool to understand hard to reach individuals through their own body maps

    • Fathima Azmiya Badurdeen, Technical University of Mombasa

4:30-5:20 pm 
‘In Conversation’

  • Guissou Jahangiri, Vice President, International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)

  • Daniele Rugo, Brunel University London


Thursday, November 18 


Roundtable: Revisiting Hidden Narratives on Conflict Related SGBV in Post-Conflict Northern Uganda

  • Chair: Stephen Oola, Amani Institute of Uganda


Workshop: Imagining Otherwise: Arts Participation and Critical Hope

  • Aylwyn Walsh, University of Leeds

  • Alex Sutherland, Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education (and UCT ECR)

‘In Conversation’

  • Esther Dingemans, Executive Director at the Global Survivors Fund and Founding Director and Special Advisor to the Dr. Denis Mukwege Foundation

  • Sahla Aroussi, University of Leeds


2:00-2:30 pm
Poetry Reading

  • Choman Hardi, American University of Iraq (Sulaimani)

If you have any questions, please contact:
Dr Daniele Rugo on
Dr Sahla Aroussi on
Dr Kirsten Ainley on


For more information on the UKRI GCRF Performing Violence: Engendering Change
project and its partners, see:


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