Peace Talks 14: The art of building peace

Conflict resolution around the world desperately needs imagination. The transformative power of performance and other arts is enormous. Art can capture imaginations and breathe life into the heart of peacebuilding. Technocrats and economists may well disagree but theatre, film, photography and painting has much to offer the world of peacebuilding and conflict.

Join our panel at Rich Mix, a community arts hub in east London, to discuss how art can engage and motivate people in ways that the left brain alone cannot.

This event is inspired by Dara, a play by Pakistani director Shahid Nadeem originally performed by Ajoka Theatre, and currently showing at the National Theatre in London. Dara is a bewitching tale of Indian history that offers a dramatic perspective on how 17th century Moghul politics impacts on today’s conflicts.


  • Anwar Akhtar, Director of, a culture and politics site with a focus on Britain and South Asia. Anwar is a production consultant on Dara and is a former director of the Rich Mix.
  • Ruth Daniel, Co-Director of In Place of War, University of Manchester, which supports artists living in sites of war to create social change through creativity.
  • Shahid Nadeem, Award-winning Pakistani writer, theatre and TV director, and human rights activist. He is the author of Dara and Director of Ajoka Theatre, Pakistan
  • Dan Smith (Chair), Secretary General, International Alert


Join the conversation by following @intalert and using the hashtag #PeaceTalks

The event will be broadcast live below

Peace Talks is a panel discussion series organised by International Alert which looks at current themes and developments around the world affecting peace. It provides an interactive platform where people can discuss and challenge big questions about peace. Each Peace Talks is followed by a drinks reception, where participants have the opportunity to network and continue the debate informally.

The event is free to attend. Suggested donation £5. Please RSVP on Eventbrite below.

Watch the trailer for Dara here:

Photo: A scene from Dara by Shahid Nadeem, adapted by Tanya Ronder and directed by Nadia Fall at the National Theatre. Photograph: Tristram Kenton