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Inside the Storytelling Revolution

April 2016

Storytelling is on the rise. With the continued expansion of technology sharing stories has never been easier. Our latest issue of Building Peace, Inside the Storytelling Revolution, examines the countless ways we communicate with one another and the power that stories hold to inspire peace as well as war.

The sixth publication looks at the processes of advocacy and advertising—both selling peace in their unique ways. We feature the work of StoryCorps and how they are lifting up local voices to contribute to a more peaceful society. Our stories also come from the Countering Violent Extremism and filmmaking communities as they explore the ways that narratives can rewrite history—and what it takes to reveal the truth.

Letter from the Editor-in-Chief

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Stories are both universal and individual. They are our mannerisms and our beliefs, our choice of words and our dreams for the future. Most of all, stories shape the way […]

Selling Peace: Story by Story

Before dawn on Friday, December 17, 2011, Mohammed Bouazizi pulled his cart to the Tunisian marketplace where he sold his goods. Local officials there harassed him and confiscated his wares […]

Short Stories: Community Murals in the U.S.

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When it comes to peace, walls are rarely the solution. Walls separate people and prevent dialogue. They build suspicion and unease. The examples are everywhere including Northern Ireland, the West […]

Peace Needs a Sharp, Pointy Stick

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(Legal disclaimer: The author of this article is an outsider with total respect and appreciation for the peacebuilding community but only limited knowledge of how it actually works, its protocols, […]

The Catalyst for Change

“Tell me the facts and I’ll learn. Tell me the truth and I’ll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever.” – Native American […]

Alternative Narratives and Countering Violent Extremism

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Alex was lonely and confused. As a 23-year-old college dropout in a Midwestern town, Alex’s friends had long since moved on without her. So when the news broke of journalist […]

Short Stories: Darfur’s Hakamat

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In Darfur, in the Western region of Sudan, an influential group of women, known as the Hakamat, are beginning to change their tune. The Hakamat hold a special place in […]

Film, Truth, and the Pursuit of Peace

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Film has power as a pathway to peace. In a certain kind of filmmaking, the ends and the means are inseparable; the way that a film is made is reflected […]

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Criminalized Power Structures

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Author: | Date: September 2016

Two recent volumes by Michael Dziedzic are a welcome addition to our series of books on Peace and Security in the Twenty-First Century, because what he and his colleagues call criminalized power structures are little studied but invariably a key obstacle to the success of any peace process undertaken during or after a civil war or other period of intense political violence.

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Continuing Dialogue through Documentaries in Georgia

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Author: | Date: June 2016

The lens of a documentary filmmaker has the potential to capture personal stories first-hand—something that frequently falls outside of the spotlight of mainstream media. Stories of ordinary persons, their fears, […]

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Why I Hope

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Author: | Date: May 2016

Building Peace magazine and the Latest Insights blog are vehicles for collecting, documenting, sharing, and archiving experiences with, and knowledge about, peace and war. They are a space for storytelling. […]

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The Power of Storytelling through Film: From Liberia to the World

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Author: | Date: April 2016

Let me tell you a story. It begins in Liberia in 2003, when a civil war between rebel groups and President Charles Taylor’s government served as a constant source of […]

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The Curious Case of the Cricket: Storytelling and Conflict Transformation in Ghana

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Jasmine R. Linabary is a doctoral candidate in the Brian Lamb School of Communication at Purdue University and a research assistant with the Purdue Peace Project. Arunima Krishna is a […]

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Show and Tell: The Narratives Driving ISIS Youth Recruitment

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Author: | Date: February 2016

In October 2015, the Islamic State (subsequently referred to in this article as Daesh*) published a very different kind of propaganda statement. Released online through its media wing, the statement […]

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Joining the Storytelling Revolution: Interview with International Storytelling Center President Kiran Singh Sirah

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Author: | Date: December 2015

Last month, BP’s Editor-in-Chief, Jessica Berns talked to Kiran about what storytelling means in today’s world and its potential to unite communities. Jessica: What is storytelling? Kiran: Storytelling is the […]

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Stories That Inspire: Asian Peace Activists Share their Hopes, Reflections, and Insights on Peacebuilding

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Author: | Date: November 2015

“Stories impacted me a lot. They nurtured my imagination, my dreams, and my vision. So, I believe listening to stories and telling stories is a great tool for peacebuilding,” declared […]

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How Syrians Stay Hopeful in the Face of Civil War

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Author: | Date: September 2015

Published in Global Post International media coverage of the war in Syria is full of shocking facts, and reminders of the horrific acts committed by the Islamic State and the Syrian […]

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Going Mobile: A Review of Peace in Our Pockets

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Author: | Date: August 2015

“Peace in Our Pockets,” a documentary directed by Kenny Dalsheimer and produced by The Groove Productions, runs 55 minutes. The film screens at the Global Peace Film Festival October 2015. Additionally, to celebrate the UN’s International […]