On the occasion of its 20th anniversary (December 2020), the European Forum for Restorative Justice (EFRJ) organised REstART, an online festival that aimed 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. Throughout one week, different artworks and creative projects as well as live talks and workshops (i.e. 20 contributions including films, documentaries, theatre play readings, photo exhibitions, books, games, music, or pre-recorded presentations) were part of the programme of the festival, attended by a total of 538 participants from all over the world.

REstART had, and still has, two main ambitions:

  • to give visibility to artworks dedicated to the restorative justice field: indeed, in recent years, many artists and creative minds collected restorative stories and transformed them into films or theatre plays or documentaries or books to make them accessible and known to the wider public;
  • to create synergies between artists (especially those experienced in participatory methodologies) and restorative practitioners, as both these professionals may involve individuals and/or groups in sharing their personal stories and truths and in participating in the making of a new joint story and dialogical truth.

One year later, we wish to focus more on this last point by creating a moment for exchange between artists, practitioners and others interested in this topic. During these two hours interactive dialogue session we will have the opportunity to listen to some creative minds of the restorative justice field, reflecting on the links between arts and restorative justice, and get to know some artists not (yet!) working in restorative justice, but whose work is deeply linked to values of justice, solidarity and repair. We wish REstART to become a platform for exchange of knowledge and experience and we wish to build on these experiences to further plan our real live REstART Festival in December 2025!

Also, on the same evening, we will organise a discussion on a the film "Another Justice" (2016, directed by Chloé Henry-Biabaud and Isabelle Vayron), telling the story of the restorative encounters between Agnes and Leonard after the murders of Agnes' daugther and grandchild (scroll down to view the trailer). The film will be available between 25 November (International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women) and 10 December (last day of the UNiTE campaign) only to registered participants. Chloé  and Isabelle wrote an article about this film in our publication "Restorative Imagination: Artistic Pathways. Ideas and experiences at the intersection between art and restorative justice" (pp.130-132, eds. Biffi & Pali, 2017).

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Draft programme

8 December 16-18h CET & 19-20h CET

16:00-16:15 Welcome & house rules & speeddating
16:15-16:35 Setting the scene on arts and restorative justice (Lindsey Pointer, USA & artist/ RJ practitioner TBC)
16:35-16:55 Pitch by 4 artists using collaborative methodologies in their performances:

  • MDK (Germany) on public dialogues on polarisation, hate and violence
  • Thinking Acts (Scotland) & Chorus (Greece) on collecting stories from opposing groups and the chorus element
  • ISAC (Slovakia) on storytelling and improvisation with marginalized communities
  • ApsArt (Serbia) on participatory drama workshops with prisoners

16:55-17:10 Comfort break
17:20-18:00 Interactive dialogue& open discussion

18:00-19:00 Break
19:00-20:00 Discussion with the director(s) of the film "Another Justice"

Goddess of time, drawing

Invited restorative practitioners

8 December (16-18h CET)

Lindsey Pointer & Mashaun Ali Hendricks (USA)

Lindsey Pointer is the Associate Director of the National Center on Restorative Justice at Vermont Law School. Together with our Board member Brunilda Pali, she is currently editing the special issue of The International Journal of Restorative Justice, entitled “Advancing Restorative Justice through Art" (forthcoming in 2022).  She is also one of the coordinators of the "Reimagining Justice - Restorative Justice Art Gallery", an initiative  launched by the National Center on Restorative Justice to collect artworks of all mediums during the international RJ Week. She is the author of Wally and Freya, a children’s picture book on restorative justice (forthcoming in 2022).

Mashaun Ali Hendricks is a restorative justice practitioner, visual artist, and entrepreneur based in Chicago.  He is a radical RJ practitioner and educator with over 10 years of experience. He has worked with Chicago Public Schools to transform approaches to classroom management and discipline. He has worked with the Chicago Police Department to train community-engagement officers to hold peace circles and imagine “restorative policing” strategies. He has worked with Cook County Circuit Courts to operate its first Restorative Justice based Community Court. As a visual artist, Mashaun uses the media of design, text, wheat-paste, apparel, concept stores, and installations. He creates artworks and projects to amplify the philosophy of RJ and engage people in possibilities RJ creates.  As an entrepreneur, Mashaun owns the streetwear brand TRAP HOUSE CHICAGO, LLC.

Image: Drawing "The Goddess of Time" by young artists Bourama Diarra, Giulia Villa, and Alessia Carboni (Sardinia, Italy) who won the 2020 "Reimagining Justice" art contest .

Invited artists

8 December (16-18h CET)

Michael Douglas Kollektiv (Germany)

The Michael Douglas Kollektiv (MDK) has experience in research of collaborative artistic productions and in development of collective participatory methodologies for the creation of their performances. Together with conflict specialist and choreographer Dana Caspersen (USA), MDK produced two public dialogues where choreography and conflict resolution meet: “The Polarity Party” and “The Exchange”, dedicated to the understanding of polarization and hate and the prevention of violence. In these interactive events, there is no performance and no spectators, instead simple actions such as walking, sitting and talking become tools for reflection and interaction as the participants consider: What is our role in the creation or unbuilding of systems of polarization and violence?

Thinking Acts (Scotland) and Chorus (Greece)

Thinking Acts and Chorus lead “Poetic Constitutions: Caring Europe”, a project that focuses on accessing a wide sample of the community, especially those suffering marginalisation through ethnic, economic or educational disadvantage, by asking questions on identity, solidarity and shared citizenship as people of Europe. Its goal is to create and sustain a new artistic form of performance activism based on embodied struggles, allegiance and solidarity amongst people and enhance the idea of community, whose aim will be towards a restorative and reconciliatory practice, and build transformative critical resources and a new artist's toolkit for sustainable and ethical advancement of cultural justice. In practice, the project collects stories of opposing and conflicting groups (through consultations, discussions, and interviews by the playwright), which are used to draft the script of the play. A chorus (consisting of members of the community) is added to the play, as a form of community activation and engagement.

International Society for Arts and Culture (Slovakia)

The International Society for Arts and Culture (ISAC) aims at creating a creative, progressive, inspiring, enriching and empowering society through arts and culture. Among other projects, its Funnylicious Improv Theater (Slovakia’s first English language improv comedy troupe and training center) produced “Our Stories: An Improvised Play”, an international performing art project merging the artistic means of improvisation and oral storytelling. The idea is very simple, to combine the power and vulnerability of personal true stories with the collaborative, spontaneous, and creative art form of improvisational theatre. Up to two stories of ordinary people from diverse backgrounds (e.g. minorities, marginalized communities, young people) are told live and an improvised play is then performed inspired by the stories told. No two shows are the same. ISAC has another production, “Story Nights”, a storytelling community dedicated to sharing true stories for inspiring, healing, transforming and entertaining people in several cities in Europe and Asia.

ApsArt Center for Theater Research (Serbia)

ApsArt promotes the idea of ​​theater as a means of personal development and social action by practicing different forms of participatory art that involve citizens in creative processes. It plays in prisons, schools, streets, parks, hospitals, kindergartens, i.e. wherever life is. Actors do not play for the audience, but with the audience. Among others, ART PACKAGE is a series of drama workshops with prisoners in male/female and juvenile prisons, specially designed to connect personal experiences of prisoners with art pieces from the National Museum in Belgrade. Art pieces are projected on the walls of the prison during the theatre workshops so that prisoners can see them. Drama workshop facilitators use participatory drama methods adapted to the confined context of prison. The theater performances created with prisoners are later performed in different communities and institutions open for collaboration of this kind and prisoners are finally able to visit the National Museum (sometimes for the first time in life). This project is done thanks to the collaboration between ApsArt, the museum, the prison and the university (i.e. students of art history).

Another Justice

8 December (19-20h CET)

Leonard is serving a life sentence in a Florida prison for the murders of Patricia and Chris. Agnes — the victims’ mother and grandmother — decided to contact him in the hope it would help her heal from this tragedy and give it meaning. As the law didn’t allow her to meet Leonard, she wrote to him instead. Their exchange led them to join in a mutual fight to promote restorative justice. Their struggle echoes those of others families, bringing us to examine what restorative justice means and the hopes it sparks.

The film will be available for registered participants (password protected) between 25 November and 10 December. A meeting with the film directors is scheduled on 8 December (19-20h CET).

Film directors

8 December (19-20h CET)

Isabelle VayronAfter studying literature and then journalism, she became a photo reporter, among others for the Sygma agency. She was the photographer of the Paris-Kabul expedition in 2003. She then worked as a co-director on Yann Arthus Bertrand's 6 billion Others and HUMAN projects. Since 2011, she has been making social documentaries for France 3, Arte, Public Senat, LCP, France 2, Planète, RTBF, RTS . She is mainly interested in the themes of justice and the environment.

Chloe Henry-Biabaud - bio coming soon

Another Justice [English]

The password will be sent to registered participants on 25/11

Une autre justice [English with French subtitles]

The password will be sent to registered participants on 25/11