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THE 2022 FESTIVAL OF SOCIAL SCIENCE
22 October - 13 November
FoSS and ESRC logos

The Art of Identity: Generation Peace and European Identities

What’s on offer?

Drop by anytime during the afternoon to view our exhibit of children's drawings about where they live, Europe, and peace, and then contribute your own! We'll have art supplies handy to create your own drawings to add to our display wall. Drop by for 10 minutes or stay for an hour!

What’s it about?

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.

Who’s leading the event?

Jocelyn Dautel, Senior Lecturer in Developmental Psychology at Queen's University Belfast
Laura Taylor, Assistant Professor in Peace Psychology at University College Dublin

Open to

Anyone is welcome to attend exhibition, but interactive art activity is targeted towards children aged 4-10 and their families

Of particular interest to

This will be of particular interest to children and their parents, and those interested in peace and integration

Event booking deadline

someone directing families from the main entrance to the event