News item | 14-09-2018
The Colombian youth-led organization BogotArt is the winner of the first Youth Carnegie Peace Prize for their project ‘Letters for Reconciliation’. The board of the Carnegie Foundation Peace Palace selected, together with United Network of Young Peacebuilders and Youth Peace Initiative, the winner out of 32 video submissions, originating from all over the world. BogotArt will receive the prize during an award ceremony on 26 September, along with the title Youth Ambassador of the Peace Palace and a ticket for One Young World, which will take place 17-20 October in The Hague.
BogotArt aims to use the arts as a catalyzer for social inclusion, understanding, and cooperation, whereby local communities are empowered and can find peaceful solutions to their challenges. Their project Letters for Reconciliation creates a dialogue between disconnected groups in Colombia and, according to the jury of the prize, addresses in an impressive way the challenge of promoting meaningful youth participation in peace transition processes. Moreover, the project creates safe space for communication and trustful civic spaces for youth to operate in their local contexts.
“In Colombia, after more than 50 years of war, we have seen how the scars of a violent conflict have polarized our society, creating groups that don’t interact with one another and based their perceptions almost entirely in prejudices and stereotypes” says Leonardo Párraga, executive director of BogotArt. “We saw the necessity of creating a space of dialogue and understanding, where civil society and FARC ex-combatants could engage with one another beyond labels, leaving the category of an enemy behind to find the common humanity shared by both. For us, the team of the BogotArt Foundation, and the several young individuals and youth organizations that helped to co-create the Letters for Reconciliation initiative, it is an honor to receive such a recognition, because it is a direct demonstration of the power that the youth have to transform conflict and build sustainable peace.”
About the prize
According to the philanthropist Andrew Carnegie education and peace were among the most important conditions for progress, and the young generation has an important role to play to contribute towards the establishment of peaceful societies. Many young peacebuilders are aware of that and are working on a daily basis to achieve a better world. That is why the Carnegie Foundation Peace Palace, the United Network of Young Peacebuilders and Youth Peace Initiative launched a video contest to highlight best practices of young peacebuilders. The Youth Carnegie Peace Prize gives recognition to the work by young peacebuilders in (post-) conflict scenarios and aims to inspire and encourage others to start their own project. The winner of the prize becomes Youth Ambassador of the Peace Palace and gets a ticket for One Young World, which will take place 17-20 October in The Hague.
The Youth Carnegie Peace Prize will be awarded to BogotArt on Wednesday 26 September 2018 in the Great Hall of Justice of the Peace Palace in The Hague. During the ceremony also the Carnegie Wateler Peace Prize will be presented to Belgian war correspondent Rudi Vranckx.
Note to media / Not for publication:
Any questions, requests for interviews and registration for the award ceremony:
Carnegie Foundation – Peace Palace
+31 70 302 42 42