REstART is a festival that aims at creating a collective reflection on justice, solidarity and repair in today’s Europe in the aftermath of personal and societal trauma, conflict, and harm. The Festival is firmly anchored in the values and methods of restorative justice which aim at connecting people and restoring just relations. Attention will be given to restorative justice responses to societal level conflicts originated and violence escalated during crisis situations, with the aim of giving a voice to the suffering and harm experienced in this period and to “restart” to connect with people.
To encourage reflections and animate the debate, the EFRJ invited artists, activists and restorative justice professionals to propose a performance or exhibition that reflected the concept of the festival and aimed to create a reflection on the themes proposed.
The year 2020 marks the 20th anniversary of the European Forum for Restorative Justice (EFRJ). As the organisation has been in contact and often in collaboration with a number of artists exploring and reflecting on restorative justice, the concept of the REstART Festival emerged as a pertinent form to celebrate this anniversary and facilitate the debate of innovative justice approaches. However, 2020 has also proven to be an extraordinary year with the unfolding crisis around the Covid-19 pandemic and its multiple consequences in our societies. As restorative justice focuses on the reparation of harm, the REstART Festival aims to offer a platform to account the harm our societies are experiencing in this crisis and to explore ways of reparation, through the key values of restorative justice: human dignity, solidarity, truth and responsibility to encourage a dialogue over a “restart” of our communities and the way we live in the world.
The poster of the Festival is based on a window image in Leuven (Belgium) by Lisa Van Der Auwera. During the lockdown in Spring 2020, many residents of Leuven expressed themselves through drawing and writing messages on their windows.
The REstART Festival will be online, given the current sanitary crisis we live in. By the end of November, we will provide the link to the Zoom platform to all registered participants.
Originally, we had planned the Festival in the city of Leuven (Flanders, Belgium). Internationally, Leuven is known for its contributions to the development of research and practice in the field of restorative justice and for building social support for the use of restorative approaches in criminal justice and in the overall society. The EFRJ with local partners as KU Leuven’s Institute of Criminology (LINC) and Leuven Restorative City project (LRC) makes Leuven the symbolic town for restorative justice, offering a fertile soil for today’s endeavours and ongoing projects about nonviolent responses to crime and conflict.
The Leuven municipality had offered the venue for this Festival, i.e. the Leuven Public Library in Rijschoolstraat 4. We are thankful for this, even if the new covid-19 measures will not permit us to gather together this December!
REstART is centred around three key topics: Justice, Solidarity, and Repair. Each topic will be presented through different art works and after-talks with the artists. The programme includes exhibitions, films, books, games, music and much more, all meant to appreciate innovative participatory ways to respond to conflict and harms through restorative lenses. All these artworks will be accessible on the EFRJ wesbite with a series of scheduled virtual encounters on Zoom with the artists. The confirmed contributions are listed below.
The REstART Festival is supported by the Justice Programme of the European Union and the city of Leuven. We are thankful also to our REstART patrons:
- Restorative Justice Services (Ireland)
If you wish to donate to the REstART Festival, please register here and join us in December!
REstART is the result of a great team work between 64 people, including artists, activists, restorative practitioners, moderators, special guests and the EFRJ staff. Active behind the scenes of REstART, you find Emanuela Biffi (event's coordination), Balint Juhasz (communications & video editing), Julia Barjau (website), Rik Defrere (finances), and Hanga Haznos (photo exhibitions on Prezi), supported by the rest of the team in different other ways! Special thanks to Brunilda Pali and Edit Torzs for assisting in the making of the REstART concept and call for funding.
Questions or remarks? Contact us!