‘Vibrant not violent’: Entanglements of creative pedagogy and peace education

Year: 2019

Author: Hunter, Mary, Ann

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Just as there are myriad definitions of the term ‘peace’, so too are there diverse approaches to peace education in formal and informal learning contexts. When peace education is further embedded with experiential arts-based activity, assumptions about the role of the arts in the encounter can be equally as varied: as a ‘vehicle for learning’; a culturally-inscribed ‘way of knowing’; a generative process for altering perceptions and fostering empathy. This paper firstly considers a typology of approaches to arts-based peace education, as evidenced in recent documentation and literature, before turning to speculative theory about the ways in which arts-integrated creative pedagogies may lead frameworks for ‘new paradigm’ peace education. How might contemporary peace education expand beyond normalising and neutralising – that is, teaching about conflict or in the service of preventing violent extremism – to embrace diversity, inclusion and the uncertain? How might the workings of structural or systemic violence be engaged with? The paper draws on the thinking behind the emergent ‘Vibrant not Violent’ initiative to invite discussion about the possibilities of creative pedagogies to enable and realise change.