Why not drop by and view our exhibition of children's drawings from across Europe of where they live, Europe, and peace, and then have a go at contributing your own! Art supplies will be in plenty supply so you can create your own drawings to add to our display wall, while relaxing with a cuppa. Drop by for 10 minutes or stay for an hour! Suitable for all, but art activities are oriented toward families with children under 12.
This project exhibits children’s perspectives of, and attachment to, different national and ethnic identities across four conflict-affected societies that have different relations with the European Union (Northern Ireland, Croatia, Kosovo and the Republic of North Macedonia). Children's drawings of where they live, Europe, and peace are displayed along with key quotes from children in each site. Drawing supplies and post-it notes will be provided for children attending to add their own drawings and feedback to our display wall. This fun interactive display will elicit dialogue from children, parents, teachers, and local community groups about children’s identities in conflict-affected settings of Europe and their capacity to contribute to peacebuilding through shared identities.
This project will have a significant and measurable impact through sharing cross-cultural understandings of peace among children in Europe. Fostering reflections on European identity is also particularly beneficial in Northern Ireland post-Brexit, a time that has brought differing political perspectives to the forefront. Arts-based practices have successfully been used in settings of conflict to promote the voices of the underrepresented and to stimulate thoughtful reflection and dialogue about otherwise challenging issues (Taylor, Marin, Cubillos & Alfonso, 2021). In this way, art acts as a powerful tool to shift public perspectives. This project will 1) shift perspectives of children, parents, teachers, and local community groups about children’s identities in conflict-affected settings of Europe and their capacity to contribute to peacebuilding through a shared European identity, 2) craft policy and practice recommendations based on understanding of the impact of local challenges, like Brexit, on children’s developing European identities to present to policymakers and practitioners, and 3) design future research based on knowledge of the context gained through participant responses and the Local Advisory Committees. In the longer term, highlighting children’s understanding of peace and shared European identity can foster their agency for interpersonal (i.e. through cross-group friendships) and structural (i.e. through collective action) change.
Jocelyn Dautel, Senior Lecturer in Developmental Psychology at Queen's University Belfast
Laura Taylor, Assistant Professor in Peace Psychology at University College Dublin
Anyone is welcome to attend exhibition, but interactive art activity is targeted towards children under 12 and their families
This will be of particular interest to children and their parents, and those interested in peace and integration