Culture+Conflict is at the early stage of research and collecting accounts, with the support of a small team of research associates and the advice of a number of people ‘on the ground’ in countries across the world. We aim to build an expanding resource that combines to describe the diversity and the value, the energy and the courage, of activities that feature art and culture in often dangerous and challenging places, frequently with few resources and scant support.

Each project is described as straightforwardly as possible, followed by an account of perceived value, identifying legacy where relevant and giving links to further information. Therefore one example may be a cultural activity that gives a sense of a lived experience – art that bears witness; another may be a description of artists working with traumatised children. Art that rebuilds, reconnects, reshapes and reimagines. Or conversely an art project that challenges the status quo or existing hegemony.

We are clear that art is also unable to do many things, of course – benefits that are provided by NGOs and others. So what is it specifically that culture can do, or make possible, that nothing else can? And why?  Alternatively should culture even be considered to be employed in so ‘instrumentalist’ an agenda as conflict management and resolution and the re-creation of a strong and purposeful civil and civic life for all? Might culture sometimes even slow or block the path of reconstruction? What cumulative lessons might be drawn from the experience of artists and cultural activities?

We welcome your involvement in terms of recommendations and comments in the process of building knowledge and determining answers.