one world

Today’s the first day of this Spring’s Arts in the One World gathering – “Radicalizing Peace – the Lines We Will Cross” (see below). Looking to build a convening squarely around the idea of meals and conversations.


Great visit from Helga Davis in class yesterday. Around the table – “What is your core belief and how does it express itself in your work?” We are not making forms, we are not even making work; we are believing and the rest is consequences.



Radicalizing Peace: The lines we will cross


The limits of neutrality and the risks of partisan advocacy in sustainable art,

public health and peace initiatives

Planning is underway for our sixth annual Arts in the One World Conference, this year presented in collaboration with Africana Studies at Brown, and the Playhouse Theater in Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland. We are joined again by our partner in hosting: the Interdisciplinary Genocide Study Center (Rwanda) – where the Tutsi Genocide is researched, testimony is gathered, negationism is resisted, and social space for survivors is afforded.


Last year’s conference featured over a hundred panelists over 5 days, with participants from Armenia, Canada, China, Lithuania, Northern Ireland, Palestine, Rwanda, Singapore, Uganda, and all points across the US.


AOW ’11 will take place over a shorter period, and feature a narrower range of official speakers – promoting longer, slower conversation. Our theme this year: Radicalizing Peace – The Lines We Will Cross… When is one beholden to intervene? And according to what criteria? How is the work of art/peace-building sometimes at the vanguard of progressive change, and sometimes manipulated? How does neutrality provide safe space, and when is it fatuous (called neutral, yet endorsing a particular status quo)?


AOW is an annual gathering; this is our sixth convening. We draw together students, faculty, practitioners and activists across disciplines, from immediate and international communities, framing presentations and conversations open to the school and the general public. We explore various ways artistic, political, and historical purposes intersect (through reconciliation, the recovery of historical memory, and advocacy for justice).


We aim is to come out of the conference with new collaborations, new maps, new actions.


Sessions this year are each built around meals, each meal hosted at a different site in Providence. We are looking to involve other schools, social service organizations, and personal spaces. Participants will sometimes have the opportunity to help prepare food and space, and to clean up. At other times we will be the cared-for guests.

Schedule (All events in Providence, RI)


All meals will feature guided conversations. There will be one overall facilitator, identifying the themes and outlining the logical flow. Groups of ten or so will share a table; at each table, a note-taker and another facilitator. The charge: to meet one another, share stories, and suggest actions for the future (for attendees, and to broadcast generally via our site). To this end, we’re asking each table to consider four questions: Where does your work come from (what brought you to your current slate of projects)? What are you focused on right now? What would make this work most effective/less obstructed? Then, in cases where there’s more than one table full of guests (the Friday night dinner, for example, is quite small), we rearrange ourselves a large group and consider: How, collectively, may we help each other advance our separate projects? By extension – how may we hold this work in common and advance the field (of art for social change)?


Thursday’s dinner points to guiding questions – identifying ideas that will inform and deepen subsequent meals.


Friday’s lunch is designed to look at institutions (theaters, agencies, schools) working in this line.


Friday’s dinner focuses on the specific case of art-in-the-prisons.


Saturday’s lunch calls together independent artists and explores how personal practices are being directed to change in positive ways.


Thu, Apr 21

Dinner, by invitation, for 30. (John Nicholas Brown Center, Brown.) Framing questions

An interfaith/Interdisciplinary conversation in the spirit of a Passover Seder.


Fri, Apr 22

Lunch, open. (AS220.) How is your institution (theater, school, partnership) framed for and working towards social change?

Presentations: Case studies: effective advance of community (health; the performance of identity), from Providence and beyond.

Conversations: Recommended actions – sites/projects.


Dinner, by invitation, for 10. (Swearer Center) Art and Public Policy: Incarceration

Presentations: Projects in the prisons.

Conversations: Assessing and developing this work; how this work models work in the field of art-for-change at large.


Sat, Apr 23

Morning workshops, by sign-up: Applied theater (Alumni Center)

Approaches are inclusive of the esthetically wide (populist; aimed at expressing/creating community quickly) and esthetically contained (a particular craft or experimental approach; aimed at developing art-practice).


Panel: “Post Genocide Rwanda: Inventing Structures of Hope.” Moderated, JP Karegeye. Featuring JD Mucyo, Tom Ndahiro, Tim Gallimore, James Kimonyo (Rw Ambassador)


Lunch, open. (Mathewson Street Church.) How does your personal art practice work to further change?

A focus on – Framing partnerships: Art and Public Health, Art and Social Theory (economics), Art and Peacebuilding.

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