Now, more than ever, we need to spark a global conversation on the state of peace and to engage all members of society with what we can do to create a more peaceful world.
When you ask someone what peace is, they’ll often tell you what it is not. Peace is a notoriously difficult concept to define, yet it is essential that we do so. Peace is more than just the absence of conflict or war. Peace is a multidimensional concept that can be viewed through many lenses.
And one of them, the one we propose here is the debate, the curiosity, the knowledge and the gathering around a fabulous dinner.
Conflict Kitchen (1) is a new project aiming to build consciousness around the issues of conflict & peace while serving cuisines of different countries in conflict (2) in a temporary “pop-up” restaurant in Moss.
This project is an educational series of events aimed at a large target public, inviting all to challenge their own personal knowledge to a different level and create an innovative understanding of the identity in our world.
Barnas Fredsverden works on disseminating playful activities for youth and children to understand/prevent conflicts and promote peace building (3) actions. They are the first direct recipients of our programmes; but through this programme, we wish to extend our scope and to address the circles around youth/children – their family, their teachers, and the other actors of society so as to widen our perspectives and sharpen our objectives.
Our aim through Conflict Kitchen is to get people more engaged, learn about conflict from another perspective, sit at the same table with complete strangers and discuss with them, give them food for thought and encourage them to learn/debate/share and possibly shape their opinion while experiencing a complete sensory delight of all senses.
(1) CF is inspired by a restaurant of the same name in the United States, which serves only food from countries the US is in conflict with. The festival of politics in the UK has also initiated a series of dinners on the same model.
(2) What is a country in conflict? We will base ourselves on the definition of Wallensteen & Sollenberg (1997, p. 354) who define an armed conflict as a ‘contested incompatibility, which concerns government and/or territory where the use of armed force between two parties, of which at least one is the government of a state, results in at least 25 battle-related deaths’.
(3) Peacebuilding is an important supplement to peacemaking processes and peacekeeping operations. Peacebuilding covers a broad range of measures implemented in the context of emerging, current or post-conflict situations for the deliberate and explicit purpose of promoting lasting and sustainable peace. Many of the elements of peacebuilding are the same as those of development co-operation with countries that are not affected by conflict, but the context and purpose are different and require an extra-sensitive approach as to what should be done and how it should be done. (MFA, 2004. Summary: Peacebuilding – a development perspective. Strategic Framework.)