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Conflict resolution through art

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Nhimbe Trust director Joshua Nyapimbi has been appointed researcher for Zimbabwe and Rwanda in a culture and conflict programme led by Prince Claus Fund and the Commonwealth Foundation.

The programme is a three-year joint initiative, which started in 2011, of culture-based interventions in order to assist cultural practitioners and civil society organisations as they work with communities to address issues of conflict and reconciliation.

“The two organisations are working in partnership with culture-based organisations and civil society to show how the arts can be used to develop a greater understanding of conflict in four countries of focus. They are Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Rwanda and Zimbabwe,” Nyapimbi told NewsDay.

“The programme also helps to strengthen networking between different countries and cultural practitioners and researchers working in these countries, and to win greater international support for the use of cultural resources in conflict and post-conflict situations.

“It is intended that the two projects, one in Rwanda and another in Zimbabwe, should be used as case studies to support the work of the researcher in examining the potential role the arts can play in conflict and post-conflict situations. The researcher’s role is to contextualise these projects.”

Nyapimbi said it was anticipated that the research would generate new insights that could connect arts and cultural policy with mainstream post-conflict initiatives for economic, social and community development.

“The purpose of the research is also to provide a more robust conceptual and empirical basis for development. The Prince Claus Fund and the Commonwealth Foundation have a strong commitment to commissioning world-class research and ensuring that the resulting evidence is disseminated to practitioners and policy makers worldwide.”

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