War Stories Peace Stories Symposium Planned for Spring 2018, in NYC

New Initiative explores how media coverage of violent conflict affects peace processes and outcomes.

War Stories Peace Stories of Somerville, MA is a new initiative exploring the intersection of conflict reporting and peace. Produced in partnership with Peace Direct, War Stories Peace Stories plans to produce includes a film series, a daylong Symposium and series of public conversations. The team has secured initial funding from major foundations and expects to launch the initiative in April 2018 with a symposium in New York City that will feature journalists, peacebuilders, and diplomats.

“The way that violence is covered, and the fact that peace efforts are frequently ignored, has a significant impact in shaping public perceptions about the relative efficacy of violent and nonviolent solutions to conflict,” said Jamil Simon, the project’s Executive Director.

Working with Nina Streich, Founder and Director of the Global Peace Film Festival, War Stories Peace Stories also intends to produce a weeklong series of 10-12 recent documentary films. “Film has enormous power to further the cause of peace and change the conversation,” said Streich. “The films we’ll show as part of this initiative invite us to consider the choices we make when we tell stories about conflict and to see the drama in peacebuilding. There’s a lot of great new work out there, and we’re excited to bring a few of these powerful films to the public”

The team also intends to organize a series of conversations on more focused topics. “We’re looking into hosting a series of conference calls or webinars with more specific areas of focus—for example, the environmental impact of war, the cost-effectiveness of peace efforts, telling the stories of child soldiers, or even how to talk about war and conflict with children,” added Simon. We’re hoping to become an ongoing resource for the media, for peace builders, diplomats, and for a concerned public.”

More details will be announced in the coming months on the War Stories Peace Stories Website.


Peace Direct is a nonprofit organization (501 C 3) dedicated to supporting local people to stop war and build lasting peace in some of the world’s most fragile countries. For more, visit Peace Direct.


PHOTO: Ronan Shenhav 
A soldier in Tajikistan near the Afghan border, 2016