Aesthetics of Peace: The Role of Art in Conflict Transformation

  • Ioana Popescu
Part of the Advanced Sciences and Technologies for Security Applications book series (ASTSA)


Peacebuilders started to look for alternative conflict transformation methods because it was revealed that the traditional approaches cannot fully address the deep-rooted socio-psychological causes of conflict. This chapter discusses the possibility of using art as a tool in conflict transformation by drawing from Lederach’s definition of conflict transformation and Aristotle’s concept of catharsis. Four different examples have been used to highlight how artistic activities and aesthetic experiences address some key underlying causes of conflict such as: trauma, miscommunication, social exclusion and dehumanisation. After the careful examination of those case studies, it was revealed that art can be used as a tool in conflict transformation because it transforms attitudes and perceptions by producing a cathartic effect on both artists and audiences. This study is important in the peace studies field because it provides a new approach through which conflict transformation can be pursued in order to prevent the (re) occurrence of violence.


Conflict transformation art catharsis healing trauma cross-cultural communication empowerment sympathetic awareness 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Leeds Beckett UniversityLeedsUK

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