OUR WORK: Forum, Living Arts in Post-Conflict Contexts

PROGRAM: Knowledge, Networks, and Policy
AIMED AT: creative professionals working in post-conflict contexts


The Forum on Living Arts in Post-Conflict Contexts: Practices, Partnerships & Possibilities was the first of its kind in Cambodia.

From 10-12 March 2016 we brought together 50 creative actors from around the world in the fields of cultural renewal and development, youth resilience, and social innovation. It was a unique opportunity to bring international attention to the role of the arts as a unifying and peacebuilding factor, and to the conditions under which artists live and work in conflict and post-conflict contexts.

The participants discussed their on-the-ground experience and exchanged their insights, practices, and beliefs.

This event was organized in collaboration with Salzburg Global Seminar and sponsored by the Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development.


“Art is crucial for the construction of memory in society. I carry home from this forum that this is probably the case all over the world.”

Regula GATTIKER, Association Connact, Switzerland

“We bring together diversity of different places and approaches that use creativity to promote justice and freedom.”

Oussama RIFAHI, Arab Fund for Arts and Culture, Lebanon

“It was a unique experience for me to meet the participants and to learn more about Cambodia. I am absolutely fascinated by the visionaries/ practitioners I met.”

Tamar JANASHIA, Culture and Management Lab, Georgia


“We, artists, educators, students, activists, managers and donors from twenty-two countries – participants of the Forum on Living Arts in Post-Conflict Contexts 2016, believe that arts and culture are an essential element of vital, open, and sustainable society.

The example of Cambodia, where the revival of arts and culture has played an essential role in the country’s rebirth after the devastation of the genocide, holds important lessons for our world.

Today, the death toll from violent conflicts around the world has increased significantly, and 1.5 billion people are threatened by violence or insecurity. Even in societies considered to be at peace, there are violations of human dignity and self-worth by economic and political structures and cultural and social systems.

Arts and culture have a humanizing capacity and a unique ability to promote tolerance, diversity, and social cohesion. The arts and participating in the arts allow healing of individuals and communities.

We urge all who value peace; social justice, freedom of expression, economic opportunity and individual dignity, to:

  • Advocate for cultural vitality as the fourth pillar of sustainable development
  • Protect artists and arts spaces, especially in conflict and post-conflict contexts, and
  • Improve access to arts throughout all societies, especially in conflict and post-conflict contexts.”

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