VISUAL  VOICES  IS  A  NON - PROFIT  ORGANIZATION SUPPORTING YOUTH ARTISTS FROM COMMUNITIES AFFECTED BY VIOLENT CONFLICT.
WE PROMOTE THE CREATION OF CONTEMPORARY VISUAL ART THAT REFLECTS THE DESIRE FOR POSITIVE SOCIAL CHANGE AND BUILD THE SPACE FOR THESE IDEAS TO BE SHARED.




ABOUT 



The Visual Voice’s vision is to become a global network of peacebuilding organizations, practitioners and artists that recognize the value of arts-based interventions in peacebuilding and the power of art in peace advocacy.

We believe in collaborating locally, while connecting these actors both regionally and internationally. After all, violent conflict is a global issue that is felt locally. This disconnect between local and global must be understood by taking on the perspectives of those directly affected. Our approach seeks genuine, emotional communication achieved through arts-based practices.

Our mission is to strengthen the capacity of young artists (18-35 years old) affected by violent conflict, while building non-commercial platforms of expression for them to share their voice and advocate for peace through contemporary visual art. In doing so, we aim to combine traditional arts-based peacebuilding activities with substantive peace advocacy campaigns. For this reason, we define ourselves as working at the intersection between strategic social art and peacebuilding.

We believe that our primary target group, youth artists from communities affected by violent conflict, have incredible potential to promote positive social change. By positively addressing their challenges and lived experiences of conflict within their art, artists stimulate dialogue and peace-oriented social narratives. Reaching new audiences, Visual Voices supports young artists to share their work through conferences, presentations, campaigns and exhibitions.





Contemporary visual art is a valuable peacebuilding tool, one that allows for non-verbal communication through a medium that is universally understood. Its nature draws out strong emotional responses, often creating deeper feelings of empathy and understanding. 

It is in these visual voices that we see the beginning of global narratives for peace.

Our organizational structure consists of the Directors, Board of Directors and Technical Advisors. This team of highly experienced professionals gives Visual Voices a multi-disciplinary expertise from the perspectives of education, the arts, research, academia and peacebuilding in practice.

We are committed to a high ethical standard, aimed at minimizing negative social impact. We recognize the need to consistently measure the greater impact beyond the immediate project participants and develop innovative methods to better understand community engagement. For these reasons, a rigorous design, monitoring and evaluation methodology has been adopted to measure and respond to the impacts of our initiatives. In doing so, we hope to better the understanding of and appreciation for arts-based peacebuilding practices by providing opportunities to research the impact at community level.



" The object of art is not to reproduce reality but to create a reality of the same intensity. "

Alberto Giacometti




VISUAL VOICES TEAM



MARINA NEOPHYTOU 
CO-FOUNDER & INTERNATIONAL PARTNERSHIPS DIRECTOR

Marina Neophytou is a believer in arts-based practices, the use of digital technologies and grassroots approaches. With these ideals at hand, she helped build one of the most groundbreaking civil society peacebuilding initiatives in Cyprus. Taking the lessons learned from her 13 years of experience in strategy, operations and campaign to other post conflict societies, she hopes to make a positive and lasting change in the lives of youth. A change that is supported from the outside but developed within, one that enables the partners to continue creating.

Marina holds an MSc in Organisational and Social Psychology and a BSc in Operational Research/Management Sciences from the University of London School of Economics and Political Sciences in London. She is an experienced director with a demonstrated history of working in the CSO, media, consulting and advertising industries. She is a strong business development professional, skilled in operations, project management, strategy, digital performance media, communications, strategic campaign management and  consulting.

Her overall goal is to make sure the youth and communities that take part in VIVOs initiatives, gain something beautiful and substantial.
ALDEN JACOBS 
CO-FOUNDER & PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR

Alden Jacobs is a believer in positive peace and community led initiatives. As a Rotary Peace Fellow at the Department of Peace and Conflict Research in Uppsala, Sweden, he developed a strong interest in arts-based peacebuilding. This focus was undoubtedly a result of his years of work in community development around Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa and Europe. With VIVOs he wants to partner with local initiatives to give opportunities for youth to share their voices and evolving societal perspectives.

Alden has a MSSc in Peace and Conflict Research from Uppsala University in Sweden, where he was a Rotary Peace Fellow. He received a BA in International Studies from the University of Oregon, USA. His professional experience has focused on project management for international community development initiatives. Areas of work include Honduras, Mozambique and Cyprus. In these positions he has proved to be a highly motivated and effective project manager even under stressful conditions. He is passionate about community development, community involvement, peacebuilding and youth.


His goal is to help communities promote peace advocacy at a local and international level. 


BOARD OF DIRECTORS & TECHNICAL ADVISORS




Dr TERRY PERK 
HEAD OF SCHOOL FOR FINE ART & PHOTOGRAPHY
VISUAL VOICES BOARD MEMBER


Terry Perk is the Head of School for Fine Art and Photography at the University for the Creative Arts, where he is also Professor for Fine Art Education and Head of the university’s Canterbury campus. He has a range of experience developing curricula for arts and in his own research has worked extensively in developing and curating work for the public realm. His sculptural practice has a particular interest in our relationship to places and the fictions we create within them. His most recent work is focused on the landscapes of Kent and the South East of England where he lives.

LUCIENNE HEYWORTH
EDUCATION CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT
VISUAL VOICES BOARD MEMBER


Luciene Heyworth has experience with INGO, Government and Non-For-Profit sectors in education (programming and policy), livelihoods, social policy and justice. Demonstrated skills in programme management, policy development, strategy and analysis. A strong communicator with a developed competency for building effective working relationships, including stakeholder engagement and management. Experience managing niche and large-scale projects, their development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.
KATE LONERGAN
PEACE AND CONFLICT RESEARCH
VISUAL VOICES BOARD MEMBER


Kate  Lonergan  is  a  PhD  Candidate  with  Department  of  Peace  and  Conflict  Research  and  the  Hugo  Valentin  Centre  at  Uppsala  University, and conducts research  focused  on  reconciliation  and  peacebuilding  after  conflict  and  mass  violence.  Kate  has  a  Master’s  degree  from  the  Department  of  Peace  and  Conflict  Research  at  Uppsala  University,  where  she  was  a  Rotary  Peace  Fellow.  Kate  has  previously  worked  with  the  World  Bank  on  justice  and  development  issues,  and  conducted  research  on  community  reintegration  of  ex-combatants  in  northern  Uganda.  She  has  also  worked  with  community  conflict  resolution  and  restorative  justice  initiatives  in  the  Washington,  DC  area.

MIKE MELDONIAN
OPERATIONS & ORGANISATIONAL DEVELOPMENT 
VISUAL VOICES BOARD MEMBER

Mike Meldonian, MALD is an Operations and Organizational Development Advisor at John Snow, Inc. (JSI), an international public health management consulting and research organization dedicated to improving the health of individuals and communities around the globe. Mike is a member of  JSI’s Capacity Development Center’s leadership team, with 9 years of experience training and advising public health and development-focused organizations on capacity development, leadership, and organizational growth strategies. He holds a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from The Fletcher School at Tufts University, where he concentrated on NGO management and development economics. He has focused on market-based approaches to development and consulted with organizations on strategy, partnership, and training in Mozambique, South Africa, Kenya, Ethiopia, and India.





GRANT ALPORT
ENGAGEMENT CONSULTANT
VISUAL VOICES BOARD MEMBER

Grant Alport is an experienced Engagement Manager at Oliver Wyman, a global consultancy, based in Washington D.C. He works closely with international clients to solve their most challenging problems. In his role, Mr. Alport leads teams helping clients to define business strategies through innovative, data-driven analysis and execute on key organizational initiatives through effective project management. Mr. Alport holds a B.A. from Duke University with dual majors in Public Policy and Spanish with a minor in Economics. He lives in Arlington, VA with his partner and dog. Outside of work, Mr. Alport is an avid traveler, having visited over 50 countries across the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Africa.
COLLEEN HUYSMAN
CLINICAL SOCIAL WORKER, YOUTH DEVELOPMENT
VISUAL VOICES BOARD MEMBER

Colleen Huysman is passionate about connection, social justice and positive youth development. Colleen has spent the past decade working with youth development organizations in the United States and internationally, including Boys and Girls Clubs of Denver, Grassroots Soccer and Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation in Mozambique. Colleen has a Masters in Social Work from the University of Michigan and is currently working as a clinical social worker in Boston, MA connecting young people to positive opportunities. Colleen is excited to be a part of VIVOs supporting young people in community organizing through the arts.



ANDYS SKORDIS
COMPOSER
VISUAL VOICES BOARD MEMBER

Andys Skordis is a Cypriot composer, who has studied  composition at Berklee College of Music and at the Conservatorium Van Amsterdam, as well as Karnatic music with Dr. Rafael Reina and Balinese Gamelan at ISI Denpasar in Bali. His work list includes operas, orchestral and chamber pieces, Gamelan music, vocal works, and music for dance, theatre and short films. His music has been performed worldwide by many acclaimed musicians and renowned ensembles, in festivals and concerts of contemporary music. In addition, he has created various music theatre performances in unconventional spaces like quarries, temples, abandoned buildings, and so on. His music has received international recognition through various prizes including the BUMA Toonzetters prize, one of the highest composition prizes in The Netherlands, and more. As a composer he finds inspiration in the primordial human nature, which is reflected through a contemporary methodology in his compositions. His recent works find stimulation from ceremonial and mical rituals from around the world. These incentives are expressed as a representation of a contemporary ritual characterised by tension and mysticism in his music. At the moment he lives in Amsterdam where he teaches at the Conservatorium Van Amsterdam and composes music.


CHRISTODOULOS PANAYIOTOU
ARTIST

VISUAL VOICES ADVISOR

Christodoulos Panayiotou's wide-ranging research focuses on the identification and uncovering of hidden narratives in the visual records of history and time. Solo exhibitions of his work have been held (amongst others) at the 56th Venice Biennial, The Cyprus Pavilion; Casa Luis Barragán, Mexico City; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Kunsthalle Zürich; Casino Luxembourg; CCA Kitakyushu; Museum of Contemporary Art, St. Louis; Museum of Contemporary Art, Leipzig; Centre d’Art Contemporain de Brétigny; and at Point Center of Contemporary Art, Nicosia. His work was also shown in a number of group exhibitions including: the 8th Melle Biennale; the 14th Lyon Biennial; the 13th Sharjah Biennial; dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel; 8th Berlin Biennale; 7th Liverpool Biennial; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Museion, Bolzano; Migros Museum, Zürich; CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco; Joan Miro Foundation, Barcelona; Witte de With, Rotterdam; Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Ashkal Alwan Center for Contemporary Arts, Beirut; Artist Space, New York; MoCA Miami.



HERMAN GRECH
JOURNALIST

VISUAL VOICES ADVISOR

Herman Grech is one of Malta's most established journalists. He is the online editor of Times of Malta and also a prominent campaigner for human rights and anti-hate speech. Herman has been involved in Malta's theatre scene for almost 30 years, among which he directed Frank McGuinness's Someone Who'll Watch Over Me, Kenneth Ross's The Lockerbie Bomber and Anders Lustgarten's Lampedusa. Herman recently wrote his first play, De-terminated, which he also directed and produced. The production tackled head-on Malta's strict anti-abortion laws. He also served as artistic director for MADC, Malta's biggest drama company. Herman strongly feels art is the most effective alternative to journalism.
JEANNO GAUSSI
ARTIST
VISUAL VOICES ADVISOR

Jeanno Gaussi is a Berlin based mixed media artist. Gaussi started her art career as a video and film artist and her short films were internationally shown in several festivals including International Film Festival Clermont Ferrand, France, Kara Film Festival, Pakistan, the International Film Festival Leipzig, Germany among many others. Gaussi’s work explores cultural identities, aspects of memorization and remembrance, and of identity. She often develops projects in close relation to the place in which they are created, examines the characteristics and unique aspects of her surroundings. Gaussi’s multi-cultural background – the artist grew up in Kabul, Delhi and Berlin – has greatly influenced her artistic practice, yet her interest goes beyond national borders and categorizations.


ANTONIS POULIASIS
VIDEO MAKER, VISUAL EDITOR, PHOTOGRAPHER
VISUAL VOICES ADVISOR

Antonis Pouliasis is a video maker, visual editor and a photographer. He had his first encounter with video production while studying Audio Visual Communication (2005) in Frederick Nicosia and a degree on Film Editing from IEK AKMI, Athens (2008). He was the director  and co-founder of PKF Multispace (2012-2014) with main duties the organisation of artistic and social events working with local musicians, theatrical teams and artists. He has collaborated with several local organisations, NGOs and festivals on the visual direction and video promotion and design. He is practising both digital and analogue photography with main inspiration the documentation of the social behaviour. His aim is to feature work in the documentary field.
ELIA NEOPHYTOU
ARTIST, CURATOR
VISUAL VOICES ADVISOR

Elia Neophytou completed her studies in the UK at the University for Creative Arts with a B.A. Hons of Fine Arts specialising in sculpture and installation art. She also holds a Masters degree in Curatorial Practice. She has organised and curated five large scale exhibitions in Cyprus and in the UK. Her curatorial work focuses on creating an interactive experience for the viewer, while the topics she usually works with are relevant to social and cultural affairs. Elia has significant experience in organizing, coordinating and implementing cultural actions within the framework of European and local programs.

COSTAS APOSTOLIDES
NEGOTIATION FOR CONFLICT RESOLUTION  
VISUAL VOICES ADVISOR


Costas Apostolides has been involved in negotiations for a resolution of the Cyprus conflict for 30 years at the highest level as a researcher and advisor. In particular he is a member of the Greek Cypriot Negotiation teams for property and territorial adjustment for the UN sponsored Cyprus Talks. Costas has been teaching Negotiation for Conflict Resolution under the joint programme of the University of Malta and George Mason University in Virginia USA, currently a visiting lecturer at the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies at Malta University. Costas is also Chairman of EMS Economic Management, a consultancy specializing in development economics, peace economics, property and town planning issues, and rural development. In addition he is a founder member of Pax Cypria Cyprus Institute for Peace.
Dr THEOPISTI STYLIANOU-LAMBERT
RESEARCHER, VISUAL ARTIST, EDUCATOR  
VISUAL VOICES ADVISOR

Theopisti Stylianou-Lambert is a researcher, visual artist and educator. She is currently associate professor and chair of the department of Multimedia and Graphic Arts at the Cyprus University of Technology, the coordinator of its “Visual Sociology and Museum Studies Lab” and the group leader of “Museum Lab” at RISE research centre. Her research and artistic interests include museum studies and visual sociology with an emphasis on photography. Theopisti has published widely on museums and photography, is the co-author of The Political Museum (Routledge, 2016) and the editor of Museums and Visitor Photography (MuseumsEtc, 2016), Museums and Photography: Displaying Death (co-editor, Routledge, 2017), Photography and Cyprus: Time, Place, Identity (co-editor, I.B.Tauris, 2014), and Re-envisioning Cyprus(co-editor, University of Nicosia Press, 2010). She received her PhD in Museum Studies from the University of Leicester (UK) and her MA in Visual Arts/ Museum Education from the University of Texas at Austin (USA). Theopisti is also the recipient of several scholarships and awards including a Smithsonian Fellowship in Museum Practice (USA), a Fulbright Fellowship (USA) and an Arts and Humanities Research Council Award (UK).

MAREN WICKWIRE
FOUNDER, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, DIRECTOR, DOP, EDITOR  
VISUAL VOICES ADVISOR

Maren Wickwire was born in Germany and founded Manifest Media subsequent to graduation in 2007. She studied Documentary film at the Folkwang Hochschule Essen and the Holon Institute of Technology in Israel, and holds an M.A. in Visual and Media Anthropology from the Freie Universität in Berlin. With wide-ranging experience in directing, producing and filming documentaries as well as working with multi-vocal video installations, Maren has presented her work in more than twenty countries and international film festivals and exhibitions. She is a recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts grant and a long time creative collaborator of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative and ART WORKS Projects, focusing on peacemaking, conflict resolution and global migration.

JAMAL PENJWENY
WAR ARTIST, PHOTOGRAPHER, DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKER, CEO & FOUNDER OF JPFOUNDATION   
VISUAL VOICES ADVISOR

Jamal Penjweny is an Iraqi Kurdish photographer, war artist and a filmmaker. He represented Iraq at the 2013 Veni­ce Biennale, and his work has appeared in the New York Tim­es and National Geog­raphic, the guardian, and other ve­nues. Penjweny’s pho­tography projects ha­ve been selected and exhibited in New Mu­seum of New York, Mu­sée du Quai Branly of Paris, National Mu­seum of Bahrain, Her­bert Art Gallery and Museum, the Imperial War Museum of Lond­on, the Today Museum of China, Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea Roma-Italy and the British Museum.


MELISSA HEKKERS
JOURNALIST & AUTHOR
VISUAL VOICES ADVISOR

Melissa Hekkers is a freelance journalist and author, who has frequently been featured in mainstream news outlets and other publications in Cyprus. Since 2015, Melissa has been teaching creative writing to children and adults. Her most recent publication (2018), My Cape Greco Mandala, which is the third in a series, is a colouring book inspired by the wildlife of the Cape Greco peninsula in Cyprus and was preceded by My Akamas Mandala which focuses on a variety of endemic plants found on the Akamas Natural Reserve. In 2016, she published My Nicosia Mandala, the first of the above series, an innovative, interactive colouring book about the historic fortifications of the old town of Nicosia. Melissa also focuses on silenced communities in Cyprus: she writes about migrants, both as a reporter and author; profiles them and teaches them creative and script writing skills through European funded programmes.

ANTHONY FREDA
ARTIST, ILLUSTRATOR, ANTI-WAR ACTIVIST  
VISUAL VOICES ADVISOR

Based in Long Island NY, Freda works as an artist, illustrator, anti-war activist and as part of the adjunct faculty of the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. In addition to many mainstream clients, such as Time, The New Yorker, Rolling Stone and The New York Times, and The Nation Opp Art series, he also contributes to many alternative news websites and publication, such as Code Pink, Adbusters, Liberation.fr, Global Research, Cindy Sheehan’s The Soapbox and Ih8war.com. and https://occupypeace.com. In 2006 The Village Voice commissioned Freda to illustrate a story about people who challenge the official 9/11 narrative, the artwork has since become part of the permanent collection of the US National September 11th Museum in New York. The City Museum of Luxembourg has also acquired a print of this piece to be part of their collection.

LINNÉA FRÄNDÅ
COMMUNICATION CONSULTANT  
VISUAL VOICES ADVISOR

Linnéa Frändå holds a B.A in Global Development from Stockholm University and an M.S in Gender Studies. She most recently researched social impediments for peacebuilding interactions among young Cypriot women (2017). As a human rights activist, Linnéa’s passion lies in raising awareness and engagement for issues of social sustainability, human rights and equality. She is a seasoned communicator, having spent several years producing visual and written content for civil society organizations, including the Religious Track of the Cyprus Peace Process, ActionAid, and CONCORD Sweden.

MARINA HASSAPOPOULOU
CINEMA STUDIES, VR/AR & AI in ARTS & HUMANITIES 
VISUAL VOICES ADVISOR

Marina Hassapopoulou is Assistant Professor in the Department of Cinema Studies, and has served as the Associate Co-Director of the Moving Image Archiving and Preservation program for the academic year 2018-19, at Tisch School of the Arts, New York University (NYU). She has been awarded a Faculty Fellowship from the NYU Center of the Humanities for the academic year 2019-2020, where she will be working on her upcoming book,Interactive Cinema: The Ethics of Participation and Collectivity in the Era of (Dis)Connection. She is also involved in new interdisciplinary initiatives for Virtual/Augmented Reality practice, Artificial Intelligence and machine learning in the Arts and Humanities.


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