The metaphor – a factory that produces peace and liberty – implies an active attitude. Visitors to the exhibition, who work in pairs, are invited to make choices, to do exercises, to test their opinions through discussion with their partners, and to come up with creative solutions. This two-fold interaction enables to avoid a moralizing approach. In tandem the pupils carry out more than fifty interactive activities. Each visitor has a ‘key map’, a pencil and a rubber; changing opinion is allowed. During the visit, they discover the rules of freedom, the limits of tolerance, and the different methods of conflict resolution.
The exhibition avoids any preaching: instead, it encourages young people to think for themselves, to learn how to articulate their own opinions, and to get involved. It opens up a debate on everybody’s role in a conflict and ways to achieve compromises that permit living together in harmony.
Convinced of the benefits of the Peace Factory, the Evens Foundation decided to develop this exhibition in other countries. In 2007 the bilingual Hebrew/Arab Peace Labyrinth was inaugurated at the Bloomfield Science Museum in Jerusalem (Israel). In November 2008 the Fabrique de la Paix was inaugurated at the European Education Fair in Paris. Our partner, La Ligue de l’Enseignement, is responsible for the implementation in France. Today the exhibition still tours France successfully.
In October 2009 the Flemish edition of De Vredesfabriek was launched at the Peace Center of Antwerp, the first stop of the Flemish tour.
In each case, the exhibition was fully adapted to the relevant country and context.
Feedback from participants confirms the strong impact and benefits of the project; both young people and adults find the exhibition a stimulating way to deal with topical issues and situations that arise in everyday life.
Click here to see a video on Fabrique de la Paix.