Mobile Arts for Peace

The Mobile Arts for Peace (MAP) project supported by partners Mashirika Creative and Performing Arts, Aegis Trust, Kwetu Film Institute, Hope and Homes for Children, and University of Lincoln aims to provide training for youth, educators and cultural artists; to support the design and delivery of Participatory Arts as a part of the national curriculum; and to collaborate with project team to explore the challenges and successes of the use of Participatory Arts across the sector in Rwanda.

Phase one of the Mobile Arts for Peace (MAP) project will explore and evaluate the use of participatory arts through the adaptation of cultural forms for dialogic purposes with young people.

In collaboration with the Rwandan Board of Education, the project will support the design and delivery of Participatory Arts as part of the national curriculum in Rwanda and, through its critical review stage, explore the challenges and successes of Participatory Arts across the sector.

MAP forms the Rwanda strand of the first Phase of our GCRF Network Plus project Changing the Story, of which Professor Ananda Breed (University of Lincoln) and Hope Azeda (Mashirika Creative and Performing Arts) are Co-Investigators.

This initial pilot project will work in the Eastern Province of Rwanda with the Board of Education, cultural artists, educators and youth workers through a series of workshops including a training of trainers and youth camps. The design for MAP originated out of an earlier International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX) project entitled Youth Theatre for Peace (YTP). Professor Ananda Breed (University of Lincoln and Co-I of Changing the Story) designed the YTP model in response to USAID’s request for people-to-people approaches that create opportunities for contact and exchange between adversarial groups.

The Theory of Change model will be used to plan project activities aiming for short-term, medium-term and long-term impacts. During the initial scoping visit and curriculum development workshops (March 2018) participants will learn more about participatory and interdisciplinary (Drama, Dance, Music, Video) arts practices that can be adapted towards dialogic purposes. The workshops and initial scoping visit will inform the development of an arts-based curriculum to be delivered to participating educators and cultural artists within a training of trainers (June 2018).

The intended long-term impact would include the integration of participatory arts methodologies within the national curriculum and greater uptake of Performing Arts training in schools and Higher Education. Outputs from Phase One includes a curriculum manual, cultural arts workshops and training of trainers, youth camp and dissemination event and the establishment of art clubs and/or arts-based elective within schools in the Eastern Province.


  • The University of Leeds
  • The British Council
  • Kwetu Film Institute
  • AEGIS Trust

Project Team

Dr. Paul Cooke

Paul Cooke is Centenary Chair of World Cinemas at the University of Leeds. He is the author of Representing East Germany: From Colonization to Nostalgia (2005) and Contemporary German Cinema (2012). His edited volumes include World Cinema’s ‘Dialogues; with Hollywood (2007), The Lives of Others and Contemporary German Film (2013), with Marc Silberman, Screening War: Perspectives on German Suffering (2012) and with Rob Stone, Screening European Heritage: Creating and Consuming History on Film (2017).

He is currently involved in an AHRC project exploring the role of film as a tool for the generation of ‘Soft Power’ across the BRICS group of emerging nations. Over the last few years he has run a number of participatory filmmaking project supporting young people to explore the legacy of ‘difficult’ pasts. This has involved working with the former main Stasi prison in Germany and groups of young people from Germany and the UK to explore the legacy of the GDR for our contemporary understanding of democracy, and young people in Leeds, Manchester, Nottingham and Johannesburg looking at the legacy of holocaust and its implications for our contemporary understanding of human rights.

In addition to Changing the Story, Paul’s current projects involve working with marginalised groups in South Africa, Brazil and India to use filmmaking as a tool to challenge their nation’s ‘Soft Power narratives’, and working with public health professionals to use participatory arts to develop community-led solutions to the misdiagnosis of antibiotics in Nepal.


Dr. Ananda Breed

Professor Ananda Breed is author of Performing the Nation: Genocide, Justice, Reconciliation (Seagull Books, 2014) in addition to several publications that address transitional systems of governance and the arts. She has worked as a consultant for IREX and UNICEF in Kyrgyzstan on issues concerning conflict prevention and conducted applied arts workshops in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Indonesia, Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, Palestine, Rwanda and Turkey. Breed is Professor in Theatre at University of Lincoln.

Prior to this, she was the Co-director of the Centre for Performing Arts Development (CPAD) at the University of East London (2014-2017) and former research fellow at the International Research Centre Interweaving Performance Cultures at Freie University (2013-2014).


Inés Soria Turner

Inés is a creative producer, project manager and community researcher whose work focuses on the arts, creative education and cultural activism as a means of empowering communities and facilitating authentic cross-cultural collaboration on a local and global scale. She joined University of Leeds in 2016 as Project Officer for the AHRC GCRF project ‘Voicing Hidden Histories’, exploring community filmmaking across Brazil, India and South Africa and producer of the Sadler Seminar series “Remapping World Cinemas in the Digital Age”. She is the Project Manager of the ‘Changing the Story’ GCRF project.

Inés is particularly interested in the relationship between academic research, grassroots cultural organisations and youth voice and the impact that such relationships can bring to social change when nurtured. Since graduating in 2008, she has worked with a diverse range of art forms across the academic, cultural, and creative industry sectors, including the British Council, Contact Theatre, and South Asian Arts UK. She spent 4 years as part of the multi-award winning In Place of War team at The University of Manchester, working with artists and creative communities in sites of conflict and post-conflict, producing a range of international academic and cultural events across the UK and establishing vibrant cross-sector networks across The Middle East, Latin America and Africa.

Inés has an MA in French Cultural Studies and a PGDip in Arts Management, Policy & Practice.


Hope Azeda

Hope Azeda is one of the leading figures in contemporary Rwandan theatre. She is the founder, artistic director of Mashirika Creative and Performing Arts, a leading theatre company in Rwanda. Under her direction, the group collaboratively created Africa’s hope, which was performed in Kigali at the 10th anniversary commemoration of the genocide, and also at the G8 World Summit in Edinburgh in 2005. The play also toured in the UK in 2006 and 2008 and also featured in the biennial festival in Sweden in 2008. In 2012 Africa’s hope made it’s premier in Los Angeles USA.

Ms. Azeda’s work as a writer, performer and teacher has taken her to many theatres and universities around the world, including the Biennial Festival in Stockholm and the Caravan Festival in Copenhagen, the International Festival of the Arts in Sophia-Bulgaria and tours of the USA, Canada, Austria, Italy, Germany, South Korea, Japan, Italy Australia, South Africa and Northern Ire- land. She has also been an artist-in-residence at the Institute for the Arts and Civic Dialogue in Cambridge-Massachusetts, an alumni of Brown University International advanced research institute in 2013, and a member of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab , Ms Azeda is also a fellow of the Africa Leader- ship Initiative (ALI-ASPEN-Institute) .Hope Azeda was also the creative direc- tor for the 20th genocide commemoration 2014.

In addition to her theatre work, she served as a casting director for the films Sometimes in April, Shake Hands with the Devil, Beyond the gates, white light Africa United . Hope is also currently the curator of UBUMUNTU ARTS FESTIVAL.


Kurtis Dennison

Kurtis Dennison is the project coordinator at Mashirika Performing Arts and Media Company and a research assistant on the Mobile Arts for Peace Project. Prior to working at Mashirika, Kurtis was a teacher trainer and supporter with the Peace Corps in Rwanda, and a community organizer and mentor with AmeriCorps VISTA and AmeriCorps Energy Express in Taylor County, West Virginia, USA. Kurtis holds a BA in Theatre from Fairmont State University and taught theatre classes at the Fairmont State Academy for the Arts in Fairmont, West Virginia, USA.

Kurtis pairs his national and international volunteer service, his experience as an educator and facilitator, and his experiences working in professional theatre to help create education opportunities for students in Rwanda addressing the gap in arts education practices. He led teacher trainings around Rwanda in using drama in the classroom, devising theatre and theatre for behavior change, creating teaching aids, and creative lesson planning. Kurtis facilitated devised productions in Rwanda with students and teachers and co-directed William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet which was performed at the 2017 Ubumuntu Arts Festival.

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