This section provides useful material for further investigations into arts in peace mediation. It lists experts who have contributed to the Art in Mediation initiative so far and refers to arts projects related to peace mediation. It also provides free access to the 2021 publication Arts in Peace Mediation. The section will expand with time as experience in the topic grows and projects by partners add to the global knowledge base.


This subsection presents the individuals who devoted time and experience to investigate if, and how, the realms of the arts and peace mediation can coalesce. The panel comprises a broad range of distinguished experts in the fields of peace mediation, the arts, diplomacy, peace and conflict, security studies, psychology, human rights, humanitarian aid, and more. We want here to thank every single person who participated in this exploratory research process.

Firas Abou Fakher

Firas is an award-winning composer, director and writer, most known for founding one of the Middle East’s most successful bands, Mashrou’ Leila. Since 2008, his compositions have been streamed over 50 million times and have been played to audiences of over 200,000 people all over the world. He has collaborated with global artists such as Brian Eno, Roisin Murphy, Oliver Beer and many others. He co-founded Last Floor Productions in 2020 as creative director and composer and has given several talks and courses at NYU, Sciences Po Paris, Concordia and other universities.

John Alderdice

Lord Alderdice is, among other positions, a Senior Research Fellow at Harris Manchester College at the University of Oxford and the Director of the Centre for the Resolution of Intractable Conflict. A Liberal Democrat peer and a member of the COVID Committee of the House of Lords, he played a significant role in the Northern Ireland Peace Process as Leader of the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland and then as Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly. Initially educated at Ballymena Academy and The Queen's University of Belfast, he has been awarded many honours and recognitions.

David Kilian Beck

Head of the Culture Department at the Embassy of Switzerland in the United Kingdom. With a background in education, he holds a Master's degree in Photographic Studies from the University of Westminster and worked in different capacities in the cultural sector before assuming his post at the Embassy.

Inbal Ben Ezer

Programme Advisor for the Master of Advanced Studies ETH Mediation in Peace Processes, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich. Former researcher at Mitvim – The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies, and Program Manager at The Peres Center for Peace. Holds a Master's Degree in Coexistence and Conflict Resolution from Brandeis University.

Kim Berman

NRF-Rated Scholar and Full Professor in Visual Art at the University of Johannesburg, Executive Director and co-Founder of Artist Proof Studio in Newtown, Johannesburg. Holds a Master’s Degree in Fine Arts from Tufts University and a PhD from the University of the Witwatersrand.

Jean-Daniel Biéler

Former Swiss Ambassador and current Advisor to the Peace and Human Rights Division of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. Senior Gestalt Therapy Practitioner (Personal Bouncing Back Therapy), Expert in Trauma, Depression, and Psychological Stress. Holds a Master's Degree in Political Sciences.

Betty Bigombe

Special Envoy for the South Sudan Peace Process, former Senior Director, Fragility, Conflict and Violence at the World Bank, Betty Bigombe is an award-winning Expert in complex policy and operational frameworks related to conflict resolution, mediation, and management in fragile countries worldwide. She was a visiting scholar at John Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies, the Woodrow Wilson Center and a Fellow at the United States Institute of Peace. She holds a Master’s in Public Administration from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Rural Economy from Makerere University in Uganda.

Mô Bleeker

Special Envoy for Dealing with the past and prevention of atrocities at the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Special Envoy for Peace and Colombia, Chair Advisor of the Transitional Justice and Reconciliation Commission of the Bangsamoro Peace Agreement. Studied Anthropology, Religious Sciences, Journalism and Social Communication. Holds postgraduate diploma in Development Studies.

Bernadette Buckley

Dr Bernadette Buckley is Convenor of the MA in Art & Politics in the Department of Politics and International Relations, at Goldsmiths, University of London. Her expertise cuts across art, politics, philosophy and cultural studies and she has a particular interest in the relationship between art, conflict and violence. She has published widely in books, exhibition catalogues, cross-disciplinary publications and journals such as Humanities, Review of International Studies and Postcolonial Studies. She was called as an Expert Witness for an All-Party Parliamentary Committee Evidence Session, as part of the British Council APPG Inquiry into Building Resilience to Radicalisation in MENA (2017). She serves on several advisory boards and committees including Artraker, Tate Learning Research Centre, Tate Papers and Journal for Museum Education. She has also worked on funded research projects for AHRC, ACE, En-quire, Heritage Lottery and the Wellcome Foundation.

Phil Champain

Phil Champain is currently CEO of the Faith & Belief Forum, a UK charity that builds relationships between people of different faiths and beliefs. Prior to this role, Phil worked as Director of Emerging Programmes at International Alert where he provided leadership and oversight of programming in the Philippines, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, Lebanon, and the South Caucasus. He was amongst the pioneers of early thinking about the role of business in conflict, work which initially took him to the oil fields of Azerbaijan, co-editing From War Economies to Peace Economies in the South Caucasus, establishing the Caucasus Business Development Network, and more recently authoring Power, Peace and Place: Why firms account for their actions. He holds a degree in History from the University of Cambridge and an MA in Restorative Justice from the University of Hull.
The Faith & Belief Forum

Mae Anna Chokr

Programme Officer in the Mediation Support Team at the Center for Security Studies working on projects within the Culture and Religion in Mediation (CARIM) programme. Projects include contributing to the development of a women’s mediation network in Lebanon, and the Worldview Learning Process. Mae is a PhD candidate researching tribes, memory and politics at the University of Westminster. She previously worked as a researcher at the Middle East Institute (USA) and holds a Master's in International Politics from the Lebanese American University.

Cynthia Cohen
Jonathan Cohen

Executive Director of Conciliation Resources, Chair of the Steering Committee of the European Peacebuilding Liaison Office and Associate of the Imperial War Museum Institute. Holds degrees from the Universities of Bristol, London and Oxford.

Alison Cole

Established Author and Journalist, Editor of The Art Newspaper, Advisor to the Institute of the Imagination, Learning Advisor to Art UK, and member of the Critics Circle. Formerly Trustee of the Foundling Museum and Executive Director for some of the United Kingdom’s leading cultural organisations, including The Art Fund, Southbank Centre and Arts Council England. Has built a reputation as an Expert in strategic communications, advocacy, campaigns, digital initiatives, idea generation and brokering partnerships.

Michaela Crimmin
Nicola Dahrendorf

Human rights and humanitarian practitioner, focused on peacebuilding and conflict resolution in conflict and post-war contexts. Worked with International Non-Governmental Organisations, the United Nations, the Norwegian, United Kingdom and Swiss governments and in an academic capacity. Holds Master's degrees in Social Anthropology from the University of Cambridge and in Law and Development from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London.

Stephen Daldry
Colin Davidson

Award-winning Visual Artist, whose exhibition ’Silent Testimony’, depicting victims and survivors of the Troubles in Northern Ireland, has been shown at the United Nations in New York as well as in museums in Ireland, England and France. His portrait sitters have included Queen Elizabeth II, President Bill Clinton, Brad Pitt, John Hume, Seamus Heaney and Ed Sheeran. Graduated from, and current Chancellor of, Ulster University.

Ayak Chol Deng Alak
Staffan De Mistura
Ahmed Eleiba

Senior Program Officer at the Mediation Program of swisspeace, where he leads the Syria portfolio and oversees the Civil Society Support Room - the formal inclusion platform of Syrian civil society in the UN-led Peace Process in Geneva. Also works on the question of digital technologies and peace mediation. Holds a Master's of International Affairs from the Graduate Institute in Geneva and a Bachelor's in Political Science from Cairo University.

Alexandre Fasel

Ambassador, Swiss Special Representative for Science Diplomacy. During the course of his career he has engaged with the topics of European integration, including Brexit, the interface between foreign and domestic policy, foreign policy analysis and policy formulation as well as multilateral diplomacy. Co-initiator of the project Art in Mediation.

Enrico Formica

Enrico Formica is serving as Senior Mediation Officer for the Department of Political Affairs at the United Nations Office in Geneva. At the moment, he is providing direct support to a number of UN mediation efforts in Africa and the Middle East. He is also coordinating a number of initiatives that explore the use of digital technology in mediation. Previously, he worked as the Chief of Staff of the UN Special Coordinator Office in Jerusalem where, inter alia, supported international efforts to relaunch the Middle East peace process. He also maintained sensitive contacts in Gaza and Israel to promote understandings on various security and humanitarian issues. He previously served in UN peace operations in Sudan and Guinea Bissau and in the Department of Political Affairs in New York.

Stephen Garrett
Angelo Gnädinger
Olivier Haener

Expert in dialogue, mediation and local administration issues, former Political Analyst for the Balkans with the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) and for an EU field mission (Kosovo), Head of a Dialogue project in Northern Kosovo (FDFA, swisspeace), Senior Advisor in humanitarian Negotiation and Mediation. Holds degrees in Contemporary History, Slavic Languages and Territorial Governance from the University of Lausanne. Trained mediator (ETH Zürich), affiliated with the Swiss Federation of Mediators' Associations (SDM-FSM) and the Swiss Association of rural mediators (hofkonflikt).

Lucy Hannah

Senior Programme Director and (International) Project Manager, Founder and Director of Untold Narratives CIC. Holds a Master's Degree in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia.

Antje Herrberg

Senior Mediation Advisor at the European External Action Service, Co-founder of mediatEUr and Professor at the College of Europe. Has more than twenty years of experience in global peace processes with organisations such as the UN, CMI, Interpeace and the EastWest Institute. Holds a Master's Degree from the European-University Viadrina in Frankfurt and University College Dublin and a PhD from the University of Aalborg.
German Embassy in Kinshasa

Anna Hess Sargsyan

Mediation expert with a degree in International Affairs from Columbia University, with over ten years of experience in mediation support, dialogue design and facilitation and research focus on the impact of geopolitics on the settlement of protracted conflicts.

Cindy Horst

Research Professor in Migration and Refugee Studies and Co-Director of the Centre on Culture and Violent Conflict at the Peace Research Institute Oslo. Former Researcher and Lecturer on forced migration at the University of Amsterdam and Moderator of the Refugee Livelihoods Network for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Holds a PhD in Social Sciences on migration and transnationalism among Somalis from the University of Amsterdam.

Isabel Käser

Visiting Fellow at The London School of Economics and Political Science, Art in Peace Mediation Project Lead at the Embassy of Switzerland in London, Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Bern. Holds a PhD in Gender Studies from the SOAS and is the author of the book The Kurdish Women's Freedom Movement: Gender, Body Politics and Militant Femininities.

Stefanie Kueng

Senior Diplomat and Counsellor in the Economics Department of the Embassy of Switzerland in the United Kingdom. Holds a Master's Degree in International Relations from the Graduate Institute in Geneva and a Master of Advanced Studies in International and European Security from the University of Geneva.

Jürg Lauber
Michelle LeBaron

Internationally renowned scholar on conflict transformation, arts, and resilience and Professor of Law at the Allard School of Law in Vancouver, Canada. Author/editor of several publications on arts and conflict including The Choreography of Resolution: Conflict, Movement and Neuroscience (American Bar Association 2013) and Changing Our Worlds: Art as Transformative Practice (2018, Sun MeDIA, South Africa). Currently researching the role of arts in collective memory, commemoration processes and reconciliation and applying arts practices in interprofessional education.

Anna Ledgard

Anna Ledgard, Producer, Project Manager, Researcher, Trainer and Professional Development Leader in collaborative arts practice. Specialises in the careful facilitation of embedded partnerships with artists in healthcare environments. She also develops and leads training which builds understanding and confidence in talking about, and planning for, death and dying.

Emma Leslie
Miodrag Miki Marinković

Miodrag Miki Marinković is the founder and director of the Centre for Affirmative Social Action (CASA) in Mitrovica, Kosovo. He is a Lawyer and Civic Activist, born in 1975 in Pristina. He worked as a Political Advisor in the European Union Office in Kosovo (2011-2016), the EU Rule of Law mission in Kosovo - EULEX (2009-2011), and the International Civilian Office (2007-2009). He authored many research articles on the position of the Serbian community in Kosovo as well as on the dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade, such as Characteristics of the Open Society in the Kosovo Serb Community or On the Road to Nowhere - A Soundtrack for the Brussels Dialogue.

Simon Mason

Senior Researcher and Head of the Mediation Support Team at the Center for Security Studies at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. Holds a PhD in environmental science from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich and is a Mediator accredited by the Swiss Mediation Association SDM.
Simon Mason
Abdi and Mason (2019) Mediation and Governance in Fragile Contexts: Small Steps to Peace

Francois Matarasso

Freelance community artist, writer and researcher. Specialist in practice-led research, especially on the impact of culture and in organisational support across the cultural sector.

Bejan Matur

Bejan Matur was born in the ancient Hittite city of Maraş in 1968, and is a graduate of Ankara University's Faculty of Law. A pioneering figure in contemporary poetry, her work has been translated into 36 languages and won numerous awards. She has performed at conferences and festivals around the world, including the Royal Opera House and Kings Place in London, Princeton University, and in Ubud, Bali. Her book, How Abraham Abandoned Me (Arc, 2012) was the Poetry Book Society's 'Recommended Translation for Spring 2012'.

Oliver McTernan

Oliver McTernan has an established background in conflict resolution and interfaith relationships. He was a Visiting Fellow of the Weatherhead Centre for International Affairs at Harvard University 2000-2003. He was responsible for initiating the first post-Kosovo conflict talks between NATO and the Belgrade government. His book Violence in God’s Name explores the role of religion in an age of conflict. He broadcasts regularly on radio and television.

Dieter Mersch

President of the German Society for Aesthetics, current Professor of Aesthetic Theory and Philosophy of the Arts and former Head of the Institute for Art Theory at the Zurich University of the Arts. Specialised in philosophical aesthetics, media philosophy, picture theory, and philosophy of the 20th and 21th centuries. Holds a PhD in Philosophy from the Technical University of Darmstadt.

Mark Muller
Uriel Orlow
Dagmar Reichert

Founder and Executive Director of the Swiss foundation artasfoundation, Consultant and Senior Lecturer at the Zurich University of the Arts. Former Professor of Cultural Geography at Kassel University. Studied Geography, Sports and Philosophy in Vienna, Toronto, Stockholm and Cambridge (Mag.Phil., MA, PhD, habil.).

Gabrielle Rifkind

Gabrielle Rifkind is Director of Oxford Process and has worked in conflict resolution for the past two decades. She comes from a psychological background and is a Group Analyst /Psychotherapist and accredited Mediator. She has a special interest in the understanding of human motivation with specialism in how you put together the psychological and geopolitical when trying to resolve conflict. Her focus of work over the past two decades has been the Iran nuclear issue, the proxy wars in Syria, Palestine-Israel conflict and more recently conflicts in Asian and Europe. She is an Author and frequent Contributor to the media, with over 50 publications in leading journals (e.g. The Guardian, The Times).

Ali Saleem
Eran Schaerf

Artist and Essayist exploring the intersection of fashion, mass media, language and the built environment in migrant societies. His current research focuses on Levantine culture and mutual assimilation. Member of the Akademie der Künste (Academy of Arts) in Berlin since 2016.

Steven Schoch
Dorothea Schürch

Award-winning Senior Singer, Performer, Improviser, and Professor at the University of the Arts of Bern. Currently researching the pre- and post-linguistic transformation processes of the voice. Holds Master's Degrees in Contemporary Arts Practice and Research on the Arts and a PhD on avant-garde vocal practices of the fifties from the University of Bern.

Marcel Schwald

Award-winning Director, Author, Dramaturge and Performer, focusing on social hierarchies and possibilities for self-empowerment. Harbours an interest in alternatives to European political and aesthetic perspectives. Holds a degree in Intercultural Theatre and Performance at the Hogeschool voor de Kunsten in Utrecht and studied Applied Theatre in Giessen, where he further refined his artistic aesthetics.

Irene Bruna Seu

Prof. Dr. Irene Bruna Seu is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist, Chartered Psychologist and Professor of Psychosocial Studies and Critical Psychology at Birkbeck, University of London. She is the founding director of CREHR (Centre for Researching and Embedding Human Rights) and the project lead on SOMIC (States of Mind in Conflict), also funded by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.

Matthias Siegfried

Senior Mediation Advisor at the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) and previously for the United Nations. Built swisspeace's Mediation Programme. Holds a Master's Degree in Sociology, Political Philosophy, and Theology and an Executive Master in Business Administration in Nonprofit Management from the University of Fribourg.

Alain Sigg
Nikesh Shukla
Sue Stuart-Smith

Psychiatrist, Psychotherapist and Author of the bestseller book The Well Gardened Mind. Visiting Lecturer at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust in London and Consultant at DocHealth, a not for profit psychotherapeutic consultation service for doctors. Studied English Literature at the University of Cambridge before qualifying as a Doctor and working in the National Health Service. Co-created the Barn Garden in Hertfordshire.

Luxshi Vimalarajah

Senior Advisor- Mediation and Negotiation Support at the Berghof Foundation with a specialisation on protracted and deep-rooted asymmetric conflicts. A regional expert on Sri Lanka, Turkey, Nepal, Myanmar, Armenia, the Basque Country, Yemen among other regions. Holds degree from the Free University of Berlin in Political Science.

Matt Waldman
Julian Weinberg

Director of Political Dialogues, Helsinki Policy Forum, and Tunisia Programme at Forward Thinking, Julian is responsible for overseeing Forward Thinking’s political dialogues in the Gulf-MENA region, including Egypt, Libya and Tunisia. He has managed multiple dialogue processes (e.g. in Tunisia, Egypt), and served as a Specialist Advisor to the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee (2016-2017). Holds a First Class Honours Degree in Theology and Religious Studies from the University of Bristol.

David Wood

Professor of Practice at the School of Diplomacy and International Relations, Seton Hall University, and Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies. Has worked extensively in the Middle East and Former Soviet Union. Established the 'Peaceful Change initiative' to support change processes in the aftermath of the Arab Spring. Holds a Master’s Degree in Politics, Security and Integration from University College London and has been trained in Peace Mediation and Religion and Mediation at the Centre for Security Studies in Zurich.

Louisa Young

Louisa Young is an award-winning Novelist, Memoirist, Songwriter (with the band Birds of Britain), and Biographer. She studied history at Trinity College Cambridge. Her books include the My Dear I Wanted to Tell You trilogy; The Book of the Heart; You Left Early: A True Story of Love and Alcohol, and she is co-author of the Lionboy children’s books. Her most recent work is the upcoming novel Twelve Months And A Day. She is published in 32 languages. Has taught for the University of Birkbeck, London, and as a Visiting Specialist Lecturer in Creative Non-Fiction at the University of Kent at Canterbury.

Arts in Peace Mediation – Book

This publication summarises the project Art in Mediation, undertaken by the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which investigates the convergence between the arts and peace mediation. It retraces the multiple encounters that took place between arts and cultural practitioners, psychologists, mediators, and diplomats involved in mediation processes, and distils the findings that resulted. Additionally, it includes of a series of research papers about the arts in peace mediation from different perspectives, some academic and others stemming from field experience. It was edited by Dagmar Reichert and Nicola Dahrendorf with a foreword by former Swiss Ambassador to the UK, Alexandre Fasel.

Brigham Baker
Nicola Dahrendorf
Alexandre Fasel
Olivier Haener
Isabel Käser
Bejan Matur
Miodrag Miki Marinković
Dagmar Reichert
Eran Schaerf
Irene Bruna Seu