#ART4PEACE: Street artists mark Peace Day with global series of murals

International Alert is marking the International Day of Peace on 21 September and its 30 year anniversary with a series of spectacular street art murals in countries affected by conflict around the world.

Street artists and local communities in six cities are working together to produce the murals, which will all represent different challenges, hopes and visions for peace.

Events will take place in Beirut (Lebanon), Berdyansk (Ukraine), Davao City (Philippines), Goma (Democratic Republic of Congo – DRC), Kampala (Uganda) and London (UK).

All paintings will be livestreamed on social media through the hashtag #ART4PEACE, and can be followed across Peace Day via International Alert’s Twitter and Facebook pages.

The schedule for events is as follows (all times given are BST):

  • Berdyansk, Ukraine: Artist Nikolai Shevchenko leads a painting called ‘Harbour of Peace’ with the local students and volunteers (7am).
  • Beirut, Lebanon: Artist Ghaleb Hawila paints a mural that will include Arabic calligraphy referencing Peace Day (8am).
  • Davao City, Philippines: Artists paint a mural in Freedom Park under the theme 'Colours of Peace' (8am). A version of this will be shared on the Cyber Peace Project website on 23 September. A digital painting inspired by the #HandofPeace campaign will also be uploaded to this site.
  • Goma, DRC: Cultural group Yole!Africa together with local artists and Association des Femmes des Medias du Sud Kivu (AFEM), a partner of our Tushiriki Wote project, are producing a mural illustrating their collective vision of ‘peace for all’ (9am).
  • London, UK: Syrian artist Tarek Tuma paints live during the private view of our Create Syria installation (6pm).

There will also be a big mural painting in Kampala, the capital of Uganda, which starts on Saturday 24 September and will run for a few days.

International Alert works in all these countries and each faces different challenges to peace.

Berdyansk in southeastern Ukraine lies close to the Donetsk and Lugansk regions and hosts many refugees fleeing the conflict there. Fighting in DRC continues despite numerous peace agreements, with Goma located by the Rwandan border where relations are particularly tense. Kampala has also experienced riots that have greatly disrupted local life.

In Lebanon, the refugee crisis continues to put pressure on the country and its people, so the need to support both refugees and host community relations is pressing. And despite recent progress with peace talks in the Philippines, two major conflicts continue to affect the country.

Follow #ART4PEACE as it happens

You can watch live footage of all these events, as they will be broadcast on our social media throughout the day. Follow us and don’t miss a brushstroke:

Check back on this page for photos and footage as the events unfold.

Photo: © Sal Alexander/International Alert