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Security in Diversity
“Enabling the Arts as the dialogue to assist the development of a more peaceful, equal and intercultural society free from racism & sectarianism.”
Through the cohesiveness and chemistry of a diverse team of artists using their gifts for the greater good we design and facilitate innovative creative projects & solutions that strengthen community relations, nurture peace processes, and promote interaction between different cultures.
The work of Beyond Skin began January 2004 in Northern Ireland responding to the rise in racism & sectarianism influenced by the legacy of conflict.
We represent an international team of professional artists, facilitators, educators and technician’s passionate about creating positive social change through intercultural music, arts, dance and digital media.
"If you want a powerful good relations programme in your area and to maximise community engagement, you could do no better than enlist the Beyond Skin team. They are by far the most creative, dedicated and professional delivery agent I have ever worked with” - Good Relations Officer
"With such a diverse team based locally and internationally, we are like a little United Nations but without the guns" - Darren Ferguson (Founder)
We design and deliver innovative creative projects locally and internationally which provide access to diversity & global education and the exploration of security in the pursuit of Peace.
- ArtsDialogue collective are a international intergenerational team of musicians, artists, producers, writers & peace activists. The collective was established in April 2017 at Mount Stewart Northern Ireland "Music does not assist dialogue. Music is the dialogue" Mark Smulian (Heartbeat). The organisations represented in the collective are Beyond Skin (Northern Ireland), Heartbeat (Israel-Palestine), The Music Project (Sri Lanka) & Escuelas de Paz (Colombia), Afghanistan National Institute of Music, Brehon Advisory (Middle East) and United Network of Young Peace Builders regarding #Youth4Peace initative. The team represents a shared creative resource of decades of experience in peacebuilding, community development and youth work within very different areas of conflict and post-conflict.
- #Youth4Peace As representatives of UNOY.org we are leading the #Youth4Peace initiative in Northern Ireland implementing UN Resolution 2250 Youth, Peace, Security.
- We are the local partner for WOMAD Foundation & Festivals (N.I. Programme now in its 5th year)
- We nurtured the development of the innovative Orchestre des Réfugiés et Amis - Interculturalism’s artistic enigma who are amongst the idea.
- Two international flagship projects in Sri Lanka and Colombia partnering schools and youth groups in Northern Ireland. Parallel versing project #FUTyoURES project
We are not an entertainment agency – we are people that get things done.
Sometimes visible. Sometimes by stealth. And Sometimes...
Last updated: October 2017
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We are not heavily core funded and depend on peoples good will and project grants
Parallel Versing (Sri Lanka - N. Ireland)
Parallel Versing is a project using music to change the life trajectory of children whose quality of life has been impacted by the legacy of conflict in Northern Ireland & Sri Lanka. The project uses music and video production as a tool for diversity & global education. The children record all the audio and videos themselves and very little post production is added to keep the original spirit and energy of the project. Through the process, young people exchange handmade gifts, letters and information about their own cultures. Participants don’t physically travel to each other’s country.
The project started in 2013 designed and delivered by the organisations Beyond Skin and The Music Project (Sri Lanka) with a start-up investment from the Esufally Family Foundation. 2014-2017 investments from Arts Council NI, Arts & Business, Belfast Harbour, Local Councils and IBIS Belfast Hotel assisted the growth of the project.
Orchestre des Réfugiés et Amis
Orchestre des Réfugiés et Amis is an intercultural music project developed by Beyond Skin. The project creates shared welcoming spaces for musicians with Refugee or Asylum status to collaborate, socialise and creatively express their culture with a diversity of professional musicians.
With the Arts Council of Northern Ireland as the principal funder, musicians involved have been writing and rehearsing songs, pushing intercultural music boundaries and raising awareness about Refugees whilst also challenging the theory of Intercultural Arts itself.
Young people are not just the future, they are present!
Today almost half of the world’s population is under the age of twenty-four. By offering young people a possibility to take part in shaping their own futures, young people can be at the front line of Peacebuilding.
In countries affected by conflict and violence young people are commonly perceived as either perpetrators or victims. The surge in terrorism and violent extremism in the past 15 years also tends to be linked to the role of young men, and increasingly young women. In reality, the role of young people in relation to peace and security is poorly understood and much more complex than these stereotypes suggest.
Resolution 2250: In December 2015 the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 2250, the first ever thematic resolution on Youth, Peace and Security. This historic document is very important for all young peace builders worldwide because it brings recognition and legitimacy for youth’s efforts in building peace.
Beyond Skin are leading the #youth4peace initative in Northern Ireland as a member representative of UNOY (United Network of Young Peacebuilders), a network of youth peacebuilding organisations worldwide. Since 2012 UNOY have been working intensively towards the adoption of resolution 2250, engaging with young people, peacebuilding organisations and policy makers.
Beyond Skin have been identifying and recruiting Youth4Peace young Ambassadors to join a steering group help to develop #youth4peace programme in Northern Ireland which includes designing and delivering projects & events whilst also representing Northern Ireland at an international level.
To date #youth4peace ambassadors have attended training, conferences and peace summits across the global with Beyond Skin hosting the first Global Youth Peace Summit in March 2017. #GYPS2017 was an overwhelming success enabling the framework for a #youth4peace strategy in Northern Ireland with The Arts as the dialogue.
As part of the global #youth4peace campaign Beyond Skin are embedding Resolution 2250 into our overall strategy and projects with children and young people. This includes the delivery of projects, lobbying, artistic interventions and outputs, advocacy and organising events.
#Youth4Peace is a global campaign that is supported by international law. Our objective is to ensure Resolution 2250 is implemented whilst highlighting through lobbying and grassroots action that the young people of Northern Ireland have a voice that is valid and inclusive. We are asking institutions that young people are part of decision making processes as to greater degree given the right resources and platforms, young people have the capacity make the world we all live in, a more peaceful, equal and intercultural society representing the best in humanity.
FUTyoURES (Colombia - N. Ireland)
FUTyoURES is a unique project aimed at developing a shared creative model for conflict transformation that meets the needs, interests and expectations of young people from societies emerging from conflict.
The project involves a cross-national partnership between young people from Colombia and Northern Ireland in a creative interactive dialogue about the meaning of peace and enabling the Arts to transform societies in conflict from a youth perspective. It is about thinking and projecting the future where peacebuilding is inclusive and meaningful for young people.
#ArtsDialogue (Afghanistan, Colombia, Ireland, Israel, Northern Ireland, Palestine, Sri Lanka)
#ArtsDialogue collective are a international intergenerational team of musicians, artists, producers, writers & peace activists.
"Music does not assist dialogue. Music is the dialogue" Mark Smulian (Heartbeat).
The organisations represented in the collective are Beyond Skin (Northern Ireland), Heartbeat (Israel-Palestine), The Music Project (Sri Lanka) & Escuelas de Paz (Colombia), Afghanistan National Institute of Music, Brehon Advisory (Middle East) and United Network of Young Peace Builders regarding #Youth4Peace initative.
The team represents a shared creative resource of decades of experience in peacebuilding, community development and youth work within very different areas of conflict and post-conflict,.
#ArtsDialogue delivery and approach puts the Arts at the heart of the space & dialogue challenging traditonal formats of workshops, good relations events, conferences and shared space. This is in contrast to other approaches were the Arts element is viewed as an add-on or the artistic elements are moulded round a formal schedule. #ArtsDialogue aims to challenge, question and provoke mediocrity through unbounded creativity in the pursuit for a more peaceful and equal society.
Beyond physical meet-ups, collaborations and delivery of projects the Arts Dialogue team have been operating and communicating through a WhatsApp Group housed by Beyond Skin.