Visual Voices is a non-profit organization based in Nicosia, Cyprus. There are two full time staff in Cyprus with an internationally based board of directors and group of technical advisors. In addition to the organization members, Visual Voices has established a network of 41 collaborating organizations in Europe, Asia, SE Asia and the greater MENA region.
In the first year of operations, Visual Voices has not had budgetary resources available. Funding is sought from international institutions (UN, EU, USAID, etc.), national funding from the government of Cyprus, private foundations and small grants programs.
Visual Voices is currently implementing three projects in Cyprus 1) a Visual Voices initiative funded by Civic Space (funded by EU) 2) local implementation of Plural+ Film Contest screenings in partnership with UNAOC and UN Migration (IOM), and 3) collaboration with PeacePlayers Cyprus on arts-based programs (funded by EU and British High Commission in Cyprus).
The Visual Voices mission is to enable youth artists from communities affected by violent conflict to artistically advocate for peace both within their own communities and internationally. In doing so, we aim to challenge conflict narratives and help strengthen peace narratives. To materialize this mission we have been developing our own network of collaborating organizations and professional artists around the world.
Our main objectives include building the capacity of local youth for positive civic participation through artistic expression, introducing youth voices that embrace a culture of peace into the peacebuilding discourse and contributing to positive peace in communities affected by violent conflict.
Visual Voices is a newly established organization that is developing projects in Cyprus and internationally in collaboration with partner organizations. Activities include research, art residencies, peace education workshops and campaigning. Our methodology focuses on integrating peace education into artist residencies for youth artists from communities affected by violent conflict. The pilot project is currently taking place in Nicosia, Cyprus.
Visual Voices is motivated to contribute to the Cyprus network in many ways. We are committed to attending and supporting network events, helping organize events, partner with other international networks and collaborate with local organizations on projects.
Visual Voices would be proud to join the ALF Network because we share many of the same ideals and value the role of civil society organizations in positive social change. We are an organization that recognizes the importance for dialogue and the inclusion of youth voices, which are both key elements of our organizational mission. We also believe that transnational civil society connections are crucial to making positive social change through enhanced understanding and cooperation. We recognize that being part of the ALF network will allow us to connect with, learn from and share with other organizations both in Cyprus and internationally. We are very interested in expanding our network and finding common ground with other organizations for future opportunities to collaborate.