[Portfolio] Participatory Arts for Meaningful Child Participation in Peacebuilding: A Case Study of the MAP Project in Indonesia

This portfolio serves as the body of work, documenting the artistic practice submitted as part of a practice-based PhD research degree. It is accompanied by a written thesis that provides further context and analysis.

Vina Puspita‘s practice-based research explores participatory art with young people in urban neighbourhoods in Jakarta to promote meaningful participation in peacebuilding. Focusing on the use of murals with children at risk of violence to express social and environmental issues, her study proposes a model of community-based participatory mural art that places children at the centre, working alongside local leaders. The study explores the potential of public art to promote power-sharing and intergenerational collaboration, while challenging the idea of children’s participation in public space in Jakarta, which has been contested. The research project involves young people aged 12-18, primarily but not limited to those who are members of the Children’s Forums at the urban village level in East Jakarta. In total, 49 children participated in the study, although the number varied between each mural project.

Through a series of mural projects, they work with different levels of government agencies and occupy different types of spaces. The study highlights the importance of child-friendly approaches, such as collaborative mural painting, in facilitating children’s participation in society and encouraging critical reflection on their conditions. It reveals the complex issues facing young people in urban Jakarta and demonstrates how art can be used as a tool for advocacy and for bringing local leaders and young people into dialogue.

This study is in connection with Mobile Arts for Peace (MAP): Informing the National Curriculum and Youth Policy for Peacebuilding in Kyrgyzstan, Rwanda, Indonesia, and Nepal (2020-2024).