Arts & Culture for Peace

Practical Notes for Participants

1. ASPnet National Coordinator from the UK (Ann Beatty), supported by Japan’s National Coordinator (Taka Horio), working with the initiative’s advisor (Jannette Cheong), will help to facilitate opportunities for participating schools to work with artists and others, if needed, laying the foundations of the Arts & Culture for Peace initiative.

2. Background work: Understanding the ASPnet Action Areas and the need for peace

  • Each activity will demonstrate its relationship to the ASPnet Action Areas, and these can be amalgamated if a combined project is considered, or indeed if there is an existing project that can be extended to support the ASPnet Action Areas and would like to be recognised under the umbrella of this UNESCO ASPnet Arts & Culture Initiative.
  • This new initiative invites students to set the context, and underpin all their creative work, with a study of ‘conflict’ and the need for ‘peace’ locally and internationally – considering the impact on them as individuals, as communities, and globally – i.e. humanity and the sustainability of our planet.
  • The precise focus of the Conflict and Peace Study will be determined by the participating students and their teachers.

3. Through this new initiative students will also have the opportunity to explore the essence of ‘less is more’ and minimalism – artistically, culturally and intellectually in the way they may be used to interpret ideas and values – for the betterment of our planet.

4. Schools may study, and draw on, any references – classical or contemporary. (NB The Coventry Children used three classical cultural forms from Japan as their springboard to better understand these concepts, followed by students’ developing their own culturally diverse ideas and language.) If schools wish to also use these classical Japanese references as a starting point there are resources for these in the attached pages, but schools can also consider other ‘less is more’ or minimalist influences and ideas – many of which have been inspired by such classical forms.

5. Students may undertake one, two or all three peace activities under the initiative, and may undertake them in any order, or in combination

6. Schools and other educational establishments will be self-selected and will indicate that they wish to participate in the initiative through their UNESCO ASPnet National Co-ordinator, who will contact the UK National Coordinator in the first instance.

7. This initiative is led by ASPnet schools, however, other schools are also invited to join and can do so by contacting the UK National Coordinator direct, by working with an ASPnet school, or by joining UNESCO ASPnet through their National Coordinator.

8. Students of all ages may participate.

9. Participants should understand their role and the level of commitment needed to complete each activity, or a combined activity.

10. ‘From acorns mighty oaks do grow’: It is suggested that activities begin with individual creative elements from each student to enjoy and share, and these are discussed and combined to produce a group creative outcome which can be shared locally and internationally – this inclusive approach should be encouraged whether activities are undertaken singularly or combined.

11. Schools can draw on all available resources and also ask for additional inspiration from other artistic sources through the National Coordinator.

Outline schedule and resources

The Initiative will be formally launched in June 2022 at the UK ASPnet virtual international conference ‘Connecting for Peace’ organised by ASPnet UK.

Schools should register their interest through their ASPnet National Coordinator who will then contact the UK National Coordinator.

Schools will decide on their own schedule and draw on their own local communities and contacts for support and resources (if needed). They will also be able to draw on the following resources to support their participation:

  • online links to a range of resources from UK and Japanese organisations
  • webinars (introductory and interim) organised by ASPnet UK
  • potential access, via the National Coordinators, to a voluntary group of mentors and artists if a clear need is identified*.

(*These will be expanded if needed and as discussions and engagement with other countries and National Coordinators join the initiative.)

It is hoped that this initiative can be scaled up to the international level. This would be possible under the coordination of ASPnet International pending the funding required.

Schools may develop their work in these activities flexibly. For example, if there is a major development planned for an area:

  • one, or all three activities might be integrated into the development plan for the area to provide both educational development opportunities for local schools and a way of raising local and international awareness of peace and sustainability.
  • The schools, in turn, will focus their work on the ASPnet Action Areas using these as their foundation for new projects/activities, or to further enhance existing projects/activities for local communities.