Celebrating the Talking Peace Festival around the world

The Talking Peace festival is a chance for everybody around the world to engage in the issues of peace and conflict around the world. The global arts and cultural festival celebrates the International Day of Peace and the small acts that everybody can take to build peace every day.

From a community festival in the Democratic Republic of Congo to climbing a mountain to make a giant sign of peace in Kyrgyzstan, thousands joined us around the world this year to celebrate the true power of peace.

Here are the highlights from our Talking Peace Festival 2017 from around the world.


23 September 2017

At the Concert for Peace, our Philippines team launched the EverydayPeace app so people can capture and share their everyday acts of peace, link up with other peacebuilders and learn about peacebuilding. Rising Filipino bands, former X-Factor contestant Mark Mabasa and long-standing rocker Dong Abay entertained the 500-strong audience before they were invited to join a mass download of the new app.

Watch the highlights below, including Dong Abay’s new song written for the festival, ‘Kalinaw’ (Peace), and read the full story.


29 September 2017

In Carthage, Tunis, our team gave a preview of a new documentary about the experiences of people in the Kasserine region at the CineMadart. The film, Voices from Kasserine, is directed by Olfa Lamloum and Michel Tabet, and Talal Khoury is the director of photography.

Take a look at the trailer and follow Voices from Kasserine on Facebook for updates on showings where you are.

Black and white photo showing young people running along the top of a freight train with two of them caught mid-air jumping between containers.


21–23 September 2017

Our friends in Maiduguri celebrated Peace Day with a three-day sports tournament. Young people from different ethnic and religious groups joined forces in the name of sport to demonstrate the importance of community cohesion in Nigeria.

Players pose as a group at the Peace Day sports tournament, 21 May 2017


21 September 2017

Youth peer mentors from around Kyrgyzstan climbed a mountain and hauled hundreds of rocks to craft this awesome peace sign in Koh Tash village near Bishkek to highlight the importance of peacebuilding. The mentors are taking part in leadership training this week as part of our constructive dialogues on religion and democracy project.

Youth peer mentors pose above the peace sign the created from rocks to celebrate Peace Day 2017

Democratic Republic of Congo

21 September 2017

Our friends in Goma celebrated Peace Day with a football match, participatory theatre show, live music and a march for peace, ending the day with some words of hope from the city’s mayor and a commitment to peace in DRC.

Watch highlights from the day, including a song for peace written by our project officer Enack Makunda Bendela, ‘Congo, Patrie de Paix!’ (read the full lyrics here).


20 September 2017

In Bogotá, we joined Hermanos Brothers at El Centro de Memoria, Paz y Reconciliacióna for a wonderful performance of La Balsa (The Raft), a new piece of musical theatre examining the idea of migration as an intrinsic part of the human experience. The piece invites the audience to journey with the performers, as they share the stories that shape their past, present and future.

Performaners on stage during 'La Balsa' (The Raft) a new piece of musical theatre examining the idea of migration as an intrinsic part of the human experience


Saturday 16 September 2017

We had a great turnout on Saturday for our #PeaceDayMyanmar celebration with Moving Forward Together in Mahabandoola Park, in Yangon. Lots of people braved the rain to listen to live music and poetry and to share messages of peace. Below, reggae artist Saw Poe Kwar performs songs of peace, harmony and tolerance to a big crowd.

A large crowd listens to reggae artist Saw Poe Kwar performing at Mahabandoola Park in downtown Yangon to mark Peace Day 2017


June 2017

In Tajikistan, women and girls from our ‘Zindagii Shoista’ (Living with Dignity) project showcased and sold the products they have made in their small family-based enterprises. The programme aims to build a socio-economic environment that empowers women and protects them from sexual and gender-based violence, with a focus on violence against women and girls. The day was celebrated with a market and dancing. Take a look at the wonderful products showcased on the day below.

Women stand bheind a table laden with products they have made in their small family-based enterprises as part of the Living with Dignity project
Colourful embroidered cloths of a variety of designs laid on the table for sale

Thanks to our funders the UK government and partners ATO, Farodis and Women of the Orient.


23 September 2017

Our team in Uganda shared food to celebrate the day. They sent this message of peace.

“In African society, sharing a meal is symbolic of peace and reconciliation. Even in traditional reconciliation processes, food is central to sealing the peace bond that has been created. We have various cultural attributes across Africa, but in this diversity, we have a bond, an unbreakable bond. We all share a strong desire to end war and conflict; to stop unnecessary bloodshed across the region; to alleviate poverty; to end the cycle of disease; and to educate all our people.”

United Kingdom

23 September 2017

In London, we held our pop-up restaurant Conflict Café, celebrating the power of food to break down barriers and get people talking. This year, we took diners on a culinary journey through Syria, where the conflict has now entered its seventh year. Guests heard from the chefs and experts during the meal. Our Peace Talks took a closer look at the journey of those who have been forced to flee their homes due to conflict, as well as opportunities to find safety and build a new life. And at our #peacehack, techies and novices in London and Marsden Heights school in Brierfield built a flock of PeaceBots who took over Twitter, sending messages of peace.

Hear why talking peace is so important and see highlights of the day below.