Peace Festival

Creative Methodologies for Unearthing Hidden War Stories

Societies moving to post-war contexts face multiple challenges. Many of these are echoes from the war and its historical roots. Memories of war resonate throughout the transition process; they penetrate cultural practices, the public arena, the institutional level, and the social fabric.

In Colombia, 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 in 2016-17 brought together the most adventurous groups seeking to open up ways of thinking about peace in Colombia and its neighbour Peru. The project aimed to strengthen their efforts, rooted in civil society, building networks and sharing experiences. The project mapped, systematized, and disseminated relevant methodological practices used in local initiatives aimed at unearthing alternative stories of marginalized victims of war, for example through sharing the work of the prize-winning Ruta Pacífica NGO.

Research Team

Research Film

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 their conversations, and the art that they produced. This film documents this very special ‘peace festival’. Spanish with English subtitles.

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.

This project is associated with the MMB Challenge on Bordering, control, struggle