European Forum for Restorative Justice (EFRJ)

Belgium

Call

European Cooperation Projects

Strand or category

Small/Medium Scale Cooperation Projects

Name of organisation

European Forum for Restorative Justice (EFRJ)

Country

Belgium

Organisation website

www.euforumrj.org/en/arts-restorative-justice 

Contact person

Emanuela Biffi, Programme coordinator

[email protected]

+32 491 919827 (also WhatsApp)

Organisation type

non-governmental, non-profit, membership organization with European/ international network

Scale of the organization

Secretariat in Leuven with 5 employees (4.1 FTE) plus project officers (2-3 depending on the projects) plus interns (1-2)

Board with 9 volunteers (across Europe)

Membership of 500+ academics/ practitioners/ policymakers/ artists/ activists/ students (including 90+ organisations)

PIC number

962932484

Aims and activities of the organisation 

The European Forum for Restorative Justice (EFRJ) is an international network non-profit organisation located in the University of Leuven (Belgium) since its establishment in 2000. It is composed of almost 500+ members in Europe and beyond, including 90+ organisations, dedicated to research, practice and policy work in restorative justice, mostly in criminal justice settings but also in schools, communities, families, peacebuilding. About 100 EFRJ members volunteer in 10 Working Groups/ Committees, coordinated by the EFRJ Secretariat to work on different areas relevant to advance the RJ field in Europe and beyond. Committees are dedicated to the main areas of work of the organisation (research, communications, training, and practice developments) while Working Groups focus on specific areas of application of restorative justice (e.g. gender-based violence, institutional abuse, environmental justice, hate, polarisation, violent extremism, schools and cities). The EFRJ is part of the Criminal Justice Platform Europe (with Europris and CEP-Probation) and regularly cooperates with other European networks (e.g. VSE – Victim Support Europe, EFUS – European Forum for Urban Security, EFJCA – European Family Justice Centres Alliance, CFJ-EN – Child Friendly Justice European Network). Among its activities it organises conferences, seminars, trainings, summer schools, winter academies, policy meetings, communication and awareness campaigns, it coordinates action research projects and different networking groups and it produces briefs and manuals to further advance restorative justice.

Since 23 years, the EFRJ works to advance access to restorative justice in Europe, within and beyond the criminal justice system. We believe in the potential of meeting with our "difficult other" in order to transform injustice and experiences of harm into something different. Such meetings can take form in victim-offender encounters, restorative circles and many other innovative methodologies. 

Starting from 2017, we started to work with artists and creative practitioners across Europe (see webpage). First to collect projects, artworks and ideas in a publication (“Restorative Imagination: Artistic Pathways. Ideas and experiences at the intersection between art and restorative justice” (2017) and then to organise our first REstART festival (online in December 2020). Since then we kept organising yearly talks with artists to present their works, and in 2022 we also took part in Perform Europe.

All this to say that even if arts is not our core business, we are committed in cooperating with artists who disseminate the values and practices of restorative justice (e.g. telling stories in the forms of theatre plays, films, documentaries, paintings, poetry...) and with creative practitioners who use arts and innovative creative tools to encourage dialogue when non-verbal communication is difficult (e.g. with children, migrants, but also adults that prefer to use images and/or movement to speak).



Role of the organisation in the project

Project partner (we have experience as project leaders under the EU JUST calls and other funding schemes related to criminal justice)

Previous EU grants received

None under Creative Europe, but many under the EU Justice programme and Erasmus+: www.euforumrj.org/en/projects

We also took part in Perform Europe (2022): www.euforumrj.org/en/art-conflict-and-restorative-dialogues-2022 



Sector or field

Any sector/ field (e.g. performing arts, cultural heritage, visual arts, literature, architecture, arts and technology, others) as far as contents can be connected to participatory and non-punitive responses to harm (in criminal justice, social justice, peacebuilding, organizational structures, cities, schools, etc.), giving a voice to those affected by violence and crime (victims, prisoners, etc.), with methodologies including mediation, nonviolent communication, conflict transformation, etc.

Description or summary of the proposed project

We wished to apply for the Creative Europe call as project leaders, but we started to put together the consortium too late considering the end of the year's commitments (of the EFRJ and our partners). 

Among other activities we had in mind to foster interdisciplinary cooperation between artists, creative practitioners and people with lived experience of restorative justice (mostly victims) and create a community for exchange and growth. 

We also wished to include in our project the organisation of a live REstART festival in Leuven or Brussels in November/ December 2025. It is something we still plan to do and we search funding for (especially for artists to perform at the festival existing artworks).

We search for a consortium that may include art projects around the topics we are working on (criminal justice, social justice, violence prevention, non-punitive responses to harm, peacebuilding...). As partners we can easily jump in taking the lead on a specific WP (as we are used to work with EU funded projects): we can support event organisation, dissemination, training on restorative practices (e.g. in case of tensions within the art sector!), etc.

Partners currently involved in the project

None, but we know artists working on restorative justice (theatre directors, film directors, actors, dancers – some of them with lived experience of restorative justice) that we may involve from different countries, for example see artworks from


Spain

Theatre/ "La mirada del otro" (Proyecto 43-2): https://www.euforumrj.org/en/making-theatre-play-la-mirada-del-otro-spain

Dance/ "No, gracias" (Zahy Vera): https://www.euforumrj.org/en/events/restart-2023-dancing-restorative-justice

Film/ Maixabel: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt14077696/ 

Ireland

Film/ "The meeting" https://www.euforumrj.org/en/film-screening-meeting-ireland

Theatre/ "Stronger" https://www.euforumrj.org/en/reading-theatre-play-stronger-ireland

France

Documentary/ "Rencontre avec mon aggresseur": https://www.euforumrj.org/en/events/conversation-film-director-maiana-bidegain

"Je verrai toujours vos visages" https://www.euforumrj.org/en/events/film-screening-je-verrai-toujours-vos-visages

Norway

Film/ "The Painter and the Thief" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Painter_and_the_Thief

Theatre "A conversation" https://www.euforumrj.org/en/film-a-conversation


More here: https://www.euforumrj.org/en/arts-restorative-justice 



From country or region

see exhaustive list of countries participating in the Creative Europe Programme

Preferred field of expertise 

Any sector/ field (e.g. performing arts, cultural heritage, visual arts, literature, architecture, arts and technology, others) as far as contents can be connected to participatory and non-punitive responses to harm (in criminal justice, social justice, peacebuilding, organizational structures, cities, schools, etc.), giving a voice to those affected by violence and crime (victims, prisoners, etc.), with methodologies including mediation, nonviolent communication, conflict transformation, etc.

Please get in contact no later than

Any time of the year (also to explore other funding schemes, beyond Creative Europe)



Which kind of projects are you looking for? 

Any project relevant for the restorative justice field (within and beyond criminal justice)



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