Peace Conference and Festival 2020

"In Search for Peace"

Invitation to participate and promote peace,

and support the First Afghan Library Study Centre for Peace, Arts and Culture in the UK (Peace Centre)

Call for submissions:

Articles, presentations, performances, artwork, creative writing, film-work or any other media work from around the world

by 1st August 2020

As an independent, charitable and non-political community organisation Afghan Academy International is the first educational and cultural voluntary group working in the UK, active since the early 1980s. By providing a unique range of projects and services, the Academy aims to support Afghans in the UK and abroad to achieve a better standard of living, health, education, cultural understanding, employment opportunity and integration. This is accomplished through advice, information and guidance, as well as providing platforms for interactions, coordination, cooperation and networking with academics, artists and professionals, as well as other organisations, agencies and local authorities.

The Academy aims to preserve the Afghan historical and cultural heritage, whilst promoting peace, critical thinking, freedom of speech and expression, academic liberty, and a greater understanding and appreciation of different cultural norms.

Throughout the last four decades, a united voice to break the silence of the majority of Afghans, both within and outside of Afghanistan, has always been the missing piece in a constructive platform for peace, development and state building in Afghanistan.

As part of its efforts to continue promoting peace, education, arts and culture, Afghan Academy International in London is proud to launch “In Search Of Peace”, an International Peace Conference & Festival to honour all those who have lost their lives over the last fifty years of war and conflict, and applaud the long-term resilience of those who have still not lost hope.

The goal is to begin a dialogue, build bridges and provide a platform for interaction that inspires collective work from around the globe, in support of the wellbeing and needs of those suffering from continued wars and dislocation. The aim is to inspire and set an example of good practice that sustains long-term peace, whether between individuals, communities or countries.

Using Afghanistan as a case study, dialogue will primarily explore important relationships which have formed between Afghanistan and the globe, and what these mean for the future of the country and its people. In addition to panel discussions and individual talks, there will be a showcase of artistic and other audio-visual works, providing a window into how traditional artistic forms have changed and created a shift in the cultural heritage of a nation that has been at the cradle of civilisation and crossroads of world powers.

Given the current situation and global pandemic, and in order to ensure the safety of all participants, we have decided to move the conference and festival activities online for the meanwhile. We will announce further details in due course and hope to maintain the impact of the project, which is our main priority, no matter how it is carried out.

Active participation in the project is voluntary and will support the establishment of the first Afghan Library Study Centre for Peace, Arts & Culture in London (Peace Centre). We ask for your kind contribution as a tribute, to honour and remember all those affected by war and conflict throughout the last five decades, help create a dedicated support system for others still in need and in recognition of World Peace Day, 21st September.

Confirmed speakers and collaborators so far include a wide range of stakeholders who have agreed to contribute towards this initiative.

If you are interested in participating and supporting this initiative, please kindly send your expression of interest and your information about your written or art work, or your media submission (link, synopsis, image or description of work) to admin@afghanacdemy.org.uk

Topics of discussion and themes for any art and other work could include,

but are not limited to:

Any historical, cultural, religious, social, political or economic perspectives you may have on the peace process, in particular to the current one

Or

Any other area/topic of your choice in relation to peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan

Or

You can choose any of the following questions:

Can peace return to Afghanistan? If yes, How and if no, Why Not?

What are the main hurdles/requirements in bringing perpetual peace in Afghanistan?

What are your views on intra-Afghan dialogue in Afghanistan?

Will power-sharing bring inclusive change and everlasting peace?

Current peace negotiations with the Taliban and their implications

The Afghan constitution after the peace process

The role and validity of the Loya Jirga in Afghanistan - past & present

Which other peace models can we utilise?

The Unity Government and the current situation

The role of Afghanistan’s neighbours/International Community in bringing peace

Ceasefire, concept and practice in the context of Afghanistan

Can Sufism play a role for peace and tolerance and how?

The role and the involvement of women and peace

The role of the media in the peace process

The role of the Afghan diaspora communities and their future involvements in the economic, political, cultural and social affairs of Afghanistan

Peace talks and negotiations amidst Covid-19

We have several participation options. These include, but are not limited to, publishing your written work as part of the conference journal, showcasing your art or film-work and/or arranging your individual or panel participation and performance. We can also discuss further options to enable you to participate.

We welcome any written and/or spoken participation in either Farsi Dari, Pashto or English.

We may also be able to accommodate other languages.

If you are interested in sponsoring this event and the establishment of the Peace Centre or have any further suggestions please contact us directly by sending us an email to admin@afghanacademy.org.uk

We appreciate if you could also suggest any other scholars and individuals whose work would be relevant, and who would be interested in participating and contributing towards this initiative.

 

Thank you sincerely for your collaboration.

With peace and respect,

Assiya Majgan Amini

Afghan Academy International - Afghan Library Study Centre for Peace, Arts and Culture (Peace Centre)

May 2020