Arts in the One World, 2011

Radicalizing Peace: The lines we will cross, April 21-23, 2011

The limits of neutrality and the risks of partisan advocacy in sustainable art, public health and peace initiatives

Read the 2011 AOW NOTES

Arts in the One World 2011 is our sixth annual gathering, bringing together students, faculty, artists, and activists to explore the ways in which the artistic and the political can work together. Our aim is to come out of the conference with new collaborations, new maps, new actions.

We will ask ourselves: When is one beholden to intervene? And according to what criteria? How is the work of art/peace-building sometimes at the vanguard of progressive change, and sometimes manipulated? How does neutrality provide safe space, and when is it fatuous (called neutral, yet endorsing a particular status quo)?

The sessions that make up this year's AOW gathering are built around meals, each hosted at a different site in Providence. Some of these meetings will be public, a few are by invitation. A complete schedule with times, locations, and more information about each event, is available below. The events which are open to all are:

  • Friday, April 22
    Lunch at AS220
    How is your institution (theater, school, partnership) framed for and working towards social change?
  • Saturday, April 23
    Morning workshops at Alumnae Hall
    Applied theatre
  • Saturday, April 23
    Panel Discussion at Wilson Hall, Room 102
    Post Genocide Rwanda: Inventing Structures of Hope
  • Saturday, April 23
    Lunch at the Mathewson Street Church
    How does your art practice work to further change?

Walk-ins are always welcome at our open events, but registration is appreciated. 

AOW '11 is presented in collaboration with Africana Studies at Brown, and the Playhouse Theater in Derry/ Londonderry, Northern Ireland. We are joined again by our partner in hosting: the Interdisciplinary Genocide Study Center (Rwanda) – where the Tutsi Genocide is researched, testimony is gathered, negationism is resisted, and social space for survivors is afforded.

Schedule of Events


All meals will feature guided conversations. There will be one overall facilitator, identifying the themes and outlining the logical flow. Groups of ten or so will share a table; at each table, a note-taker and another facilitator. The charge: to meet one another, share stories, and suggest actions for the future (for attendees, and to broadcast generally via our site). To this end, we’re asking each table to consider four questions: Where does your work come from (what brought you to your current slate of projects)? What are you focused on right now? What would make this work most effective/less obstructed? Then, in cases where there’s more than one table full of guests (the Friday night dinner, for example, is quite small), we rearrange ourselves a large group and consider: How, collectively, may we help each other advance our separate projects? By extension – how may we hold this work in common and advance the field (of art for social change)?

Thursday’s dinner points to guiding questions – identifying ideas that will inform and deepen subsequent meals.

Friday’s lunch is designed to look at institutions (theaters, agencies, schools) working in this line.

Friday’s dinner focuses on the specific case of art-in-the-prisons.

Saturday’s lunch calls together independent artists and explores how personal practices are being directed to change in positive ways.

Thursday, Apr 21

  • Dinner - by invitation, for 30
    John Nicholas Brown Center, 357 Benefit St, Brown 
    5:00pm - set up
    6:00-9:00pm - dine & conversation

Framing questions
An interfaith/Interdisciplinary conversation in the spirit of a Passover Seder; a Seder is organized around questions. Conversation will consider: What are the responsibilities/limits of diaspora/witness-by-proxy? What do we do with the destructive character of creation (the old giving-way)?

Alan Flam & Erik Ehn

Friday, Apr 22

  • Lunch, open to all 
    AS220, 115 Empire St, downtown Providence
    12:00pm - dine & conversation

How is your institution (theater, school, partnership) framed for and working towards social change?
Presentations: Case studies: effective advance of community (health; the performance of identity), from Providence and beyond.
Conversations: Recommended actions – sites/projects.

David Diamond, Vanessa Gilbert, Pauline Ross, Michelle Hensley, Dorothy Jungels, Georgiana Pickett

  • Dinner, by invitation, for 10
    Swearer Center, 25 George St, Brown campus
    5:00pm - set up
    6:00-9:00pm - dine & conversation

Art and Public Policy: Incarceration
Presentations: Projects in the prisons.
Conversations: Assessing and developing this work; how this work models work in the field of art-for-change at large.

Erik Ehn


Saturday, Apr 23

  • Morning workshops: applied theater - open to all 
    Alumnae Hall, 194 Meeting St, Brown campus
    10:00am - Workshops begin

Approaches are inclusive of the esthetically wide (populist; aimed at expressing/creating community quickly) and esthetically contained (a particular craft or experimental approach; aimed at developing art-practice).

Workshop leaders include:
Martha Bowers, Orlando Pabotoy

  • Panel Discussion - open to all
    Post Genocide Rwanda: Inventing Structures of Hope 
    Wilson Hall, Room 102, Brown Campus 

    Jean-Pierre Karegeye, Macalester College

    Jean de Dieu Mucyo, Executive Secretary, Rwandan National Commission Against Genocide 
    Tom Ndahiro, Genocide Scholar, Interdisciplinary Genocide Studies Center
    Dr Tim Gallimore, Interdisciplinary Genocide Studies Center
    James Kimonyo, H.E Rwandan Ambassador to the United States, or his representative

  • Lunch, open to all 
    Mathewson Street Church, 134 Mathewson St, downtown Providence
    11:00am - set up
    1:00-3:00pm - dine & conversation

How does your art practice work to further change?
A focus on – Framing partnerships: Art and Public Health, Art and Social Theory (economics), Art and Peacebuilding.
Lunch will be created with Farm Fresh Rhode Island’s Harvest kitchen and students from Brown University and Johnson & Wales University

Martha Bowers, Orlando Pabotoy, Dorothy Jungels