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Peace Festival: An evening of art, film and discussion about conflict

Press release issued: 10 April 2018

In August 2017, peace activists from Peru and Colombia gathered in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, to discuss the ways in which they had used art and creativity to tell stories about the history of conflict in their countries.

A team from the University of Bristol facilitated these conversations, and the art that they produced.

On Tuesday, April 10 at the Watershed in Bristol, a film which documented this very special ‘peace festival’ was screened for the first time in Spanish with English subtitles.

The evening also included an exhibition of the art produced by the participants, with guided tours of the exhibits by the team.

In addition, there was a round table discussion with questions featuring the University of Bristol team, María-Teresa Pinto Ocampo, Goya Wilson, Karen Tucker and Matthew Brown, and special invited guests Alejandra Miller Restrepo (from Ruta Pacífica de las Mujeres, a Colombian NGO which participated in the Peace Festival) and Rosemarie Lerner (the Peruvian co-director of the University of Bristol-led Quipu Project).

Professor Matthew Brown from the University of Bristol’s School of Modern Languages, is part of the team behind this project.

He said: “Long-lasting peace will not be possible without memory-seeking initiatives that think creatively about the past and its place in imagining the future.

“This project has brought together the most adventurous groups who are seeking to open up ways of thinking about peace in Colombia and its neighbour Peru.

“The project will strengthen their efforts, rooted in civil society, building networks and sharing experiences.

“It should go without saying that our partners in this project risk their lives everyday as they seek to encounter alternative visions of society in countries still emerging from conflict.

“Our project has supported them and make them better able to withstand the challenges they confront in their work and in their lives.”

This research project received funding from the Arts & Humanities Research Council and Global Challenges Research Fund, through the Partnership for Conflict, Crime and Security Research (, and has been supported by the Brigstow Institute at the University of Bristol.

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