n African Journal on Conflict Resolution - Informal peacebuilding initiatives in Africa : removing the table

Volume 15, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1562-6997


This article interrogates the practicability and efficacy of arts-based methods for peacebuilding as opposed to the formal negotiating table within African grassroots communities. It problematises the application of western liberal peace models at grassroots level. The article reviews and locates itself within the broader discourse of alternative or informal peacebuilding. Using the case study of Rwandan post-genocide dramatic reconstructions, the article illustrates specific participatory theatre techniques extracted from the applied theatre field and how these can be employed for peacebuilding at grassroots level. The article argues for a safe, aesthetic space, created by theatre as critical to peacebuilding activities. To give a rounded overview, the article finally reflects on potential disadvantages and controversies of using participatory theatre for peacebuilding and concludes that creative arts-based methods offer practical, inclusive, inexpensive space conducive for organic peacebuilding at grassroots level.

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