March 2010 - March 2013

October 2010

Playhouse, Derry/Londonderry

Exchange 2

EXCHANGE   International Perspectives on Performing Arts and Post-Conflict Societies - Monday 25th October 2010
CONNECT   Sharing Experience: A Workshop Series on Performing Arts-Based Inquiry - Tuesday 26th October 2010

This conference examined experiences of arts and cultural work in International conflict, post-conflict and socially disadvantaged community contexts.
The Performing arts are a powerful tool in areas of conflict / post conflict. Through this medium stories are shared from divided and suffering communities, such exposure has the power to generate greater understanding at local and global level and provide a platform for discussion and change. This conference aimed to reinforce this point through the experiences of internationally acclaimed theatre practitioners who brought their own personal experiences to bear on the situation. The artists shared and discussed collaborative approaches used in conflict / post conflict zones. The delegates had the opportunity to learn from the leading practitioners and discuss models and approaches that can be applied locally.

The first day of the conference consisted of presentations, which sought to examine and share experiences of collaborative arts and cultural work in international conflict, post-conflict contexts and marginalised community settings. ICAN was honoured to have such internationally recognised speakers including Cynthia Cohen Director of Programs in Peace-building and the Arts, Brandeis University Massachusetts, USA, Erik Ehn Head of Playwriting at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, USA and Teya Sepinuck Director of Theatre of Witness, Playhouse, Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland, to share their expertise.

The Performing Arts-Based Inquiry was a series of workshops and discussions between conference speakers and delegates including community development workers, youth workers, arts practitioners, arts/cultural outreach workers, educationalists, and policy-makers. CONNECT enabled participants to explore some of the key issues of conflict transformation and collaboration in art programmes at a local and international level.

The conference aimed to explore key issues and challenges of community collaboration in arts programmes at international and local level, critique and observe models of good practice in arts access and participation across performing and visual arts and culture, and develop and broaden audiences.
The conference also served to assemble a group of community development organisations with a particular experience and commitment to peace-building. It provided members of the community, organisations and practitioners with the opportunity to share their local knowledge and experiences.
Participants were able to learn from the experiences of our highly respected National and International speakers to enable us to shape a better future, and create a platform for exchange whereby we share our best practice inspiring our international audience and guests to the mutual benefit of all.