The Conflict & the Creative Arts Research Centre works across artistic disciplines to investigate the relationship between culture and the multiple and diverse contexts of conflict - from armed conflict and identity politics to marginalised communities and violence and conflict around sexuality and gender.  

Bringing together practitioners, academics, emerging researchers, artists and activists, the Centre explores how artistic and cultural practice can impact on individuals and groups to transform their social reality.  

The Centre draws together and amplifies critical perspectives, including marginalised voices, to drive pioneering and original creative enquiry at a local, national and international level. This practice-based research aims to generate new and meaningful knowledge, methodologies, and practice.  

 A global partnership, our founding members are experts in a broad array of disciplines, including: 

Image: ‘In The Balance’, art exhibit (Anon.), Barranquilla, Colombia, 2017 © ST Dancey 


‘Displacement, Conflict and Luxury: Palestinian Contemporary Art’ is a research output comprising an edited collection and an exhibition, which together provide both a practical investigation and theorizing of contemporary Palestinian art. The work aims to find new ways of thinking about the production of contemporary art in a globalized and conflicted context.

Learn more about Displacement, Conflict and Luxury: Palestinian Contemporary Art

This book assesses the key definitions, forms, contexts and impacts of terrorist activity on the arts in the modern era, using historical and contemporary perspectives.

Its empirical case studies include theatre, literature, music, visual art, mass media, film and the mores of ‘ordinary life.’ While its immediate reflective context is Islamic fundamentalist terrorism, the book reviews a broader range of definitions and counter-definitions of 'terrorism', 'state terrorism' and 'states of terror,' examining uses of the terms through a series of comparative analyses. Chapters focus on the intersection of these definitional questions with heuristic analysis of art forms, cultural activities and their socio-historical contexts.

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The Future is Unwritten, looks at how imaginaries of violence in Colombia have come to dominate and how culture has the potential to challenge and change these imaginaries. Peoples’ worlds are constructed through collective, social imaginaries (Anderson, 1981; Taylor, 2004). The imaginary articulates how peoples’ worlds are created through shared values and beliefs, often drawn from collective lived experiences. As such, the modern social imaginary can be formed from problematic paradigms affecting the social consciousness, such as violence. These imaginaries can dominate over a society, giving continued life to problematic dynamics from the past and restricting a community’s transition into an alternative future.

Watch Dr Dancey talk about his research 

Find out more about Dr Dancey's research

Funding from the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) via a Mobile Arts for Peace (MAP) commissioned project began this April, exploring the role of Nepalese Dēudā culture on local conflict issues, peace building and policies for sustainable peace in society. Dr Simon Dancey of the University for the Creative Arts is the projects Principal Investigator alongside Co-Investigators Nar Bahadur Saud and Dila Dat Pant.

Dēudā or Dēudā Khel is a Nepali genre of song and dance, performed in the Sudurpashchim and Karnali provinces of Nepal, as well as in the Kumaon Division of Uttarakhand state of India. It is performed at various festivals, such as Gaura. The dance is performed by singing Dēudā songs in a circulus by holding each-other’s hands. It is considered as part of the cultural heritage of Karnali Province. The project has a number of specific objectives:

  • To explore the ways in which Dēudā culture can be used to promote local peace building in a dialogue between young people, educator and policymaker.
  • To assess limitations between local practices and peacebuilding approaches by using arts-based approaches to promote the wellbeing of young people, particularly those from remote and marginalized groups.
  • To investigate alternative communication structures and approaches to inform local, national, and international approaches to peacebuilding.

Find out more about Deuda Folklore in Nepal

Find out more about Dr Dancey's research

Explore more projects

Head to our UCA Research Online platform to browse all our Research Centre projects. 


If you would like to find out more about the Conflict & the Creative Arts Research Centre please contact us: