Arts and culture: tools of peace in Rwanda

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


There is awareness of the relatively neglected status of the contribution of the arts to processes of reconciliation and peace building (Cohen, 2005, Garcia, 2014; Zelizer, 2003), and it is increasingly becoming recognised that culture plays an important role in contemporary conflict (Naidu-Silverman, 2015) and, that conflict prevention – as well as post-conflict reconstruction – benefits States, communities and individuals socially, culturally and economically (Albrecht & Jackson, 2014; DfiD, 2011). In light of these issues, a small team of academics from University of the West of Scotland including the author of this abstract produced a significant report in 2018 which was presented to the British Council on the contribution of Arts and Culture to Global Peace and Security, and the paper for this conference has grown and expanded on that initial report. Within this research several examples of contemporary and historical arts and cultural practices from Rwanda were analysed including Ubumuntu, Itorero, and Ndi Umunyarwanda. There was analysis of organisations including Never Again Rwanda and the new Rwanda Art Museum. Conclusions have been drawn including that the use of culture and the arts, to look beyond ethnicity and stereotypes, can make a significant contribution to the creation of mutual understanding for this current and future generations of young people, and that culture and the arts should be included as part of local, national, and regional peace and security strategies.


Conference9th International Conference on peace and security in Great Lakes Region
Abbreviated titleICGLR 2019
Internet address


  • Rwanda
  • Arts
  • Culture
  • Peace
  • Security
  • Strategy
  • Great Lakes Region


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