The Fine Art of Peacemaking

vrede is geen kunst afbeelding

On Monday September 21, the UN International Day of Peace, The Hague Peace Projects  in collaboration with exhibition space GEMAK in The Hague organizes a public discussion themed: “The Fine Art of Peacemaking” (“Vrede is geen Kunst?”). We will invite representatives from two worlds: on the one hand the world of professional art and on the other the world of peace activism. Both activists and many artists are concerned about the world and the society we live in. But not very often do they meet each other to exchange and discuss their views. This meeting will therefore provide an opportunity for the audience to delve into the differences and connections between both worlds and discuss questions like: What is the connection between art and society? Can an artist be an activist? What is the role of art in a world full of war and violence? And, moreover, can one do anything at all against such misery? Can art have a positive impact on society? And how does this impact differ from activism?

The meeting will begin with a presentation of both the work of the artist and a presentation of the work of the peace activist. This is followed by an interview on the themes described above and a debate with the audience.

Speakers are: Pierfrancisco Gava and Sylvestre Bwira:

Pierfrancesco Gava is a visual artist from Italy. He recently graduated from the Master Artistic Research program at the Royal Academy in The Hague. His recent project investigates the strategy with which power structures, such as politics and religion, use their own image in the public media.
Sylvestre Bwira is a peace activist from eastern Congo. Living in The Netherlands as a political refugee since 2010 he continues to work for peace in his home country.

The meeting on September 21 will be the kick-off for a monthly series of such encounters between artists and peace activists, themed: “The Fine Art of Peacemaking”
Place: GEMAK, Paviljoensgracht 20, The Hague
Date and time: September 21, 19:00h-21:00h

Participation is free, registration is required. For registration and questions about the event, please contact: Jakob de Jonge,, 06-18051097.



Diaspora Conference Great Lakes Region: Root Causes of Conflict & Opportunities for Peace


On the 5th and 6th of November The Hague Peace Projects, Institute for Social Studies (ISS) and African Diaspora Policy Centre (ADPC) organize a Diaspora Conference on the Great Lakes Region under the title: “Root Causes of Conflict & Opportunities for Peace.” We would hereby like to invite you for this event.

The Hague Peace Projects, ADPC and ISS aim to facilitate the positive and effective contribution of the diaspora communities from Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi and DR Congo to the peace process in their region of origin. Through open discussion and dialogue, people from all different diaspora backgrounds will reflect on the context of the conflict. By sharing their knowledge and expertise, they will be able to analyse the main obstacles to sustainable peace. Together they will formulate possibilities on how these obstacles could be overcome and how they could become engaged in this peace building process.

When: November 5 & 6, 09:00 – 17:00
Where: Institute of Social Studies, Kortenaerkade 12, The Hague
Language: English
Moderator: Jan van der Kolk

The general outline of the conference will be as follows:

Day 1:

09:00 – 09:30 Welcome with coffee and tea
09:30 – 10:00 Opening
10:00 – 10:30 Keynote speech 1 – Jagoda Paukovic (Independent Researcher and Consultant Conflict & Gender): Introduction into conflict studies. How can the conflict best be characterized? Which types of conflict can be distinguished? How do they occur?
10:30 – 11:00 Keynote speech 2 – Filip Reyntjens (Professor of Law and Politics, University of Antwerp): Current situation of the conflict in the Great Lake Region. Description of the current political and (in)security developments in the Great Lake Region, perceived from recent history.
11:00 – 11:30 Coffee break
11:30 – 12:00 Keynote speech 3: Ben Rutabana (singer, author, activist): Root causes of the tensions in the Great Lakes Region. A personal story
12:00 – 12:45 Panel discussion with the three keynote speakers
12:45 – 13:30 Lunch
13:30 – 14:30 Working sessions, in-depth sessions from specific themes as presented in the speeches.
14:30 – 14:45 Coffee break
14:45 – 15:30 Working sessions, continuation
15:30 – 16:30 Plenary session; reports from the working sessions

Day 2

09:00 – 09:30 Welcome with coffee and tea
09:30 – 09:45 Opening
09:45 – 10:15 Keynote speech 1 – Dirk-Jan Koch, (Special Envoy Natural Resources, The Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs): Theory and practice of peace building on an international level with a focus on natural resources. Strengths and weaknesses of the current international response.
10:15 – 10:45 Keynote speech 2 – Joost van Puijenbroek (PAX): Theory and practice on peacebuilding on a local level. Outline of local peace building with some best practices
10:45 – 11:15 Coffee break
11:15 – 11:45 Keynote speech 3 – Stephanie Mbanzendore (Burundian Women for Peace and Development): Opportunities for sustainable peace in the Great Lakes Region. Overview of initiatives for peace and outline of new methods to be implemented in the Region
11:45 – 12:30 Panel discussion with the three keynote speakers
12:30 – 13:15 Lunch
13:15 – 14:15 Working sessions, presentation of reflections and ideas on how the Diaspora can contribute to sustainable peace in their respective homelands.
14:15 – 14:30 Coffee break
14:30 – 15:15 Working sessions, continuation
15:15 – 16:00 Plenary session; reports from the working sessions
16:00 – 17:00 Summary of the conference, perspectives for future of HPP and diaspora, coming to concrete action plans that follow from the two days of reflection and debate days.

Admission is free, but registration is required. Sign up here.
If you have questions, please contact us:

Best regards,

The Hague Peace Projects, Institute for Social Studies & African Diaspora Policy Centre