NO MORE WAR is the title and main message of the festival, dedicated to peace, peaceful coexistence and possibilities for change, which CVS-Bulgaria organizes between 26 and 28 January in Sofia. The event is part of the international project PATH coordinated by Service Civil International, which aims to examine the history of wars in Europe and the refugee crises connected to them, while drawing a parallel between these situations and today’s challenges.


The festival is in a pop-up format, providing space for people with an active position to join in, present their point of view and connect with other activists. The NO MORE WAR Fest is based on the principles of self-organisation, DIY (do it yourself), non-violence and volunteering.

It reviews the different aspects of peace: conflicts and forced migration, prevention of radicalization, human rights, non-violence and non-violent communication, peaceful protests and transformations in society, anti-militarism, living in harmony with yourself, the others and the environment. You can enjoy various discussions, workshops, actions, musical and film program. Visitors will also have the chance to follow the steps of an art installation, which draws a parallel between the history of forced migration and the various conflicts of our past and present. The event is hosted by the Cinema House and the Red House.





The NO MORE WAR Fest officially opens on 26th January from 18:30 in the Red House with the PATH exhibition, telling stories from the Spanish Civil War, the Second World War and the Yugoslav Wars – stories about the refugee crises inflicted by the conflicts, but also about activists’ dedication and initiatives in solidarity with the most vulnerable and persecuted groups. The exhibition makes a connection to the current activities of SCI (Service Civil International) in the field of peace and intercultural exchange. The art installation will be open for visitors between 10:00 and 22:00 in the weekend.



The format PATHs puts a focus on conflicts – in Syria, Ukraine, Iraq… What lies behind the dry media coverage, how the everyday life of people in conflict zones changes, what initiatives exist, trying to support them? We’ve invited several guests, who will tell you more about these problems, seen through the prism of their personal experience, their personal cause, their personal story. The journalist, writer and activist Ruslan Trad (De Re Militari) will participate in a discussion after the screening of the movie “Hell on Earth: the Fall of Syria and the Rise of ISIS” on Saturday at 16:00 in the Red House. Then we’ll continue with stories beyond borders. We’ve invited the journalists Georgi Totev and Georgi Kozhuharov from the LENS2LENS collective as well as representatives of the initiatives supporting refugees like Refugee Ocean, The Refugee Project and Caritas Sofia programs.



Protests and demonstrations are maybe one of the most tangible forms of standing up for a cause and achieving change. In the recent weeks thousands of people have taken to the streets of Sofia and other cities in Bulgaria and around the world to protect the National Park Pirin. Citizens have felt provoked to express their stance against populism, twisted values and hatred. We’ll talk about all this on Sunday from 18:30 in the Red House under the discussion “Peaceful protests for Pirin and against Hatred”. Earlier this day from 10:00 to 11:00 you can join a workshop on organizing and leading campaigns and peaceful protests. Saturday will take us to Catalunya, where 4 Catalans will share their direct experience and point of view. The aim of the event is to show the perspective of an ordinary person and to engage the audience in a debate about non-violence and human rights.



The topic of migration will be reviewed in a different format – the Living Library, where through personal stories, active listening, carefully asked questions and truly heard answers, you can appreciate the positive influence of migration on society. The event is on Sunday (28.01.) from 13:00 to 16:00 in the Cinema House.



The festival puts an accent to workshops for children, because we’re convinced that peace education should begin from early childhood. The topics will be presented in ways suitable for the age of the participants – though creativity, art, board games. The activities will take place from 11:00 to 13:00 on Saturday and Sunday in the Cinema House.



On Sunday between 11:30 and 13:00 in the Red House our international volunteers have prepared workshops dedicated to creative recycling of products (up-cycling), based on the DIY principle (do it yourself). The afternoon is dedicated to presentations and discussions, presenting initiatives which aim to change our attitude and the way we look upon the world; focusing on the ties between us and offering a critical view and concrete solutions for achieving a better world.



The program includes strongly engaging documentary and feature films. They can contain disturbing images, which show different realities and conflicts. Screenings in the Red House include the new documentary film of the journalist Adela Peeva “Long live Bulgaria” and the shattering “Hell on Earth: the Fall of Syria and the Rise of ISIS”, showing the cruel reality and the many layers of a conflict. The “Antifascists” and the Greenpeace documentary “How to Change the World” talk about peaceful resistance, citizen actions, protests and violence in its different forms.

The NO MORE WAR Fest partners with MENAR, a festival for films from the Middle East and Northern Africa, as part of which you can enjoy the movies “The Fabulous Casablanca”, “Lipstick under my Burkha” and “Sacred”. In addition as a host of the Fest, the Cinema House offers you the chance to enjoy the film “Tangerines”, which tells the amazing story of human relationships in time of conflict. Stephan Komanarev’s new film “Directions” will also be screened.



 NO MORE WAR: More Music is the place, where we will enjoy two strong bands with an active position. The lady team of Wet Pebbles will help us have a proper opening of the Fest on Friday evening. As part of the daily program of the festival and topic related to Catalunya, the band La Folie from Barcelona will impress you with the civic engagement of their music.

You can find the full program here.


 Posted by Victoria at 10:51 Volunteer news

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