IREX Europe successfully finishes its first ever crowdfunding campaign.

IREX Europe, IREX and KMC would like to give a huge thanks to all those who contributed to the campaign and helped spread the word about the Festival. Despite not reaching our funding objective, we are very proud of the results of the campaign. We have raised just under two thousand Euros (1910 Euros), which will help us pay towards prizes for the winning artists of the Festival’s Film, Photo and Art Competition. Most interestingly, the campaign has opened many other opportunities for partnerships and funding for the Festival and is paving the way for sustaining the Festival as an annual cultural event.

The Somali Peace Festival - Film, Photo and Art is an art festival open to all Somali speakers from the Horn of Africa region and the Diaspora that aims to support cultural expression in the region as a means of promoting peace and understanding. Amateur artists can submit their art entries to a competition. They will have the opportunity to display their art portraying images of peace, freedom and reconciliation at the Festival and produce live art work. Entries will be judged and the best art work will win prizes. The Festival builds off IREX Europe and KMC’s Theatre for Peace work in Somaliland and is based on the idea that culture and art can not only facilitate discussion among people but also contributes to building social cohesion.

Art for Peace – IREX Europe, IREX and KMC firmly believe that integrating culture into conflict resolution, and more generally into development work, is essential to the process of building social cohesion and peace in post-conflict societies. This requires the inclusion of local communities and/or the people’s cultural identity in order to achieve sustainable and concrete peace and stability. Culture reflects a people’s identity and people need to see themselves in this cultural context if they are to embrace the peace process and learn to live together with tolerance and understanding.

Why crowdfunding? We have never used crowdfunding before and have turned to it because we have been unable to secure funding to continue our work in Somaliland and the Horn of Africa. The global financial crisis is still hitting governments and international funders hard and there is less and less money for development projects, especially for what are considered “soft” projects that focus on art and culture. IREX Europe and KOW Media strongly believe in the importance of art and culture in the development of peaceful and stable societies and that is why we have committed to cover the costs of the Festival with money from our savings. The contributions from our crowdfunding campaign will help us cover those costs and enlarge the different activities, including bigger prizes for the winning artists and more workshops for youth attending the Festival! We strongly believe that the Somali Peace Festival and what it brings to the region is an important event and will help promote peace and stability in the area.

Contributions made towards this project will be helping the Somali people maintain and develop a cultural event they can call their own. The Festival brings people together and promotes Somali produced and Somali owned art in a region where radical leaders have banned the use of many forms of art. By helping the Somali people sustain this event, you are giving them the opportunity to celebrate their culture and send messages of peace out within their community.



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