Image for Building Peace with the next generation of opinion leaders

Building Peace with the next generation of opinion leaders

Between 2014 and 2016, the Peace and Justice Project (a joint effort of Cartoon Movement and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of The Netherlands) reached out to over 4000 students in over 40 countries, from Afghanistan to Rwanda, and from Russia to New Zealand, with one question: How should we build peace in the 21st century?

This project set out to challenge the opinion leaders of tomorrow, to make them think about the importance of conflict resolution, justice, security and international law. We further challenged them to put their thoughts on paper not with words, but visually, by sketching an idea for a political cartoon. Images, and cartoons in particular, have the power to transcend borders, to provoke thought and to stimulate debate.

At participating schools and universities, workshops were organized featuring the Ambassador of the Netherlands and a local professional cartoonist from our network. The Ambassadors lectured about the process of peace-building and conflict resolution; the cartoonist taught the students about drawing powerful political cartoons.

Over the course of three years, the students produced countless sketches, inspiring hundreds of professional cartoons. These give a striking insight in the way of thinking of the future generation, handing sometimes unorthodox but achievable solutions to conflicts that current policy makers have proved unable to resolve.