Peace Train Sounding Louder
Yusuf Islam Foundation
Project Team Members
December 2020 - December 2021
The Yusuf Islam Foundation through its Peace Train initiative and Coventry University’s Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations (CTPSR) are both comitted to peace, in our different ways. Common to the vision of both organisations is a commitment to further a more just, equal and peaceful world. The 50th anniversary of the song Peace train is a milestone moment and provides a valuable opportunity for both organisations to come together to deliver a fun yet serious exchanges around peace, during which peace will be discussed, studied, celebrated and sustained.
While hinged to the 50th anniversary of the song Peace Train, this event addresses the urgent and endemic issues of conflict and insecurity prevalent in many parts of the world. Levels of global peacefullness have deteriorated in nine of the past twelve years, such that the economic impact of violence on the global economy stood at $14.5 trillion in 2019, equating to $1909 for every person on earth. A global pandemic has exacerbated people’s insecurities and exposed poor governance, whilst the earth’s ecological crisis continues unabated and with catastophic consequences. Both global crises risk increasing outbreaks of violence and conflict. Meanwhile, child poverty and hunger is on the increase and people continue to die as they use perilous means to seek a better life, with 70.8 million people currently forcibly displaced around the world.
Against this backdrop Peace Train Sounding Louder will present a narrative that is hopeful, relatable and real. The project is anchored around a main summit online, with lead-up events also online and the judicious inclusion of a few real-world elements. Participants will have the opportunity to partake in masterclasses rooted in peace studies, which will allow them to acquire basic undertaking of peace building tools. The use of artistic and creative methods will allow for a more accessible, discursive process. Parrticipants will also be signposted to external opportunities to continue their learning and activism, from taking simple actions such as petition-signing and to pursuing their passion for peacebuilding on a deeper level, either on a voluntary basis or as a viable career choice.
The serious yet fun framing of the event provides opportunities to engage with different audiences, with diverse understandings and lived experiences of peace.
The overall objective of the proposed action is to provide opportunities for learning, exchange and further development for people of all backgrounds who are passionate about promoting and sustaining peacefullness in our conflicted world. We expect that most will not have any sectoral expertise in peacebuilding, though many will have been on the sharp end of a lack of peacefulness within their own communities and will have shown an existing commitment to building peace. The event will be as inclusive as possible, with no entry requirements, age barriers or financial cost to participants.
This core objective will be operationalised through a one day virtual event (suggested on Saturday 25th September 2021) with 3 warm up/mobilisation activities beforehand, together with a schools and public art competition and the installation of a reconstructed Iraqi monument in Coventry. The initative will seek to strike a note of hopefullness rather than idealism, recognising the tough realties that many people face. It will explore the opportunities that ordinary people have to contribute to everyday peace at a very local level. It will encourage participants to develop an understanding of peacefulness as something internal, indigeneous, context-specific - something that is relevant in all societies, not just in places experiencing violence.
A key consideration for us will be to cultivate a diverse and engaged community of participants that is international, intercultural and intergenerational. This will be pursued through innovative content development and delivery and a strategic recruitment campaign that goes beyond the ‘usual suspects’ of the time-rich, money-rich, well connected elite. CTPSR is founded on an ethos of providing opportunities to those who need them most and has a strong track record of widening participation in peace studies. By drawing on our combined existing networks we are confident of gathering an electic and energetic group of participants, comprising of Yusuf Islam’s supporter base, CTPSR’s academic, practitioner and student networks, the Global Peace Workshop alumnus, Rising Global Peace Forum’s participant base and those engaged in Coventry’s UK City of Culture.
Save the date
One day virtual event on Saturday 25th September 2021 with 3 warm up/mobilisation activities.