Throughout the world, community arts-based processes have become an essential component of peacebuilding work in societies experiencing severe conflicts. Both during a conflict and in post-conflict peacebuilding efforts, community based arts processes can be an especially effective tool to bring together identity groups through sharing common cultural experiences, raising awareness about past suffering, and engaging communities in creative projects. In this research project, the author spent fourteen months in Bosnia-Herzegovina researching the use of community arts-based peacebuilding efforts both during the war and in the post-conflict stage. This paper provides an overview of the research and offers several conclusions on the role of arts in peacebuilding within Bosnia-Herzegovina with the hope that these findings have relevance for other regions and the field in general.

Author Bio(s)

Craig Zelizer is completing his Ph.D. at the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University and is a Program Director with the Alliance for Conflict Transformation (ACT). His areas of research include working with youth from violent conflict regions, civil society development and capacity building in transitional societies, program evaluation and design, and arts and peacebuilding. He lived and worked for over five years in several countries in Central and Southeastern Europe. He has studied improvisational theater and tries to incorporate artistic processes within his work.


Bosnia-Herzegovina, community arts-based peacebuilding, identity groups, social relationships

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