• Lauren Michelle Levesque Saint Paul University
  • Darren Ferguson Beyond Skin


The word ‘space’ has gained visibility in peacebuilding literature over the last few years, especially in literature on the dynamics of local peacebuilding processes. Regarding these processes, spatial approaches have extended knowledge of the role that narratives of space play in shaping individual and collective experiences of peace. These narratives include the contested meanings attributed to local landmarks or how notions of ‘safe space’ inform the design of peace-focused activities in particular communities. Adding to the complexity of usage around the term, musical performance itself has been described as a space through which communities can imagine and enact peace. Given these multiple understandings, engaging in a sustained discussion of the word space is an opportunity to identify ideas and approaches that can bridge emerging discourses on local peacebuilding processes and their relationship to music.

Author Biographies

Lauren Michelle Levesque, Saint Paul University

Lauren Michelle Levesque is an assistant professor in the Providence School of Transformative Leadership and Spirituality at Saint Paul University, Ottawa, Canada. Her doctoral research explored the dynamics of contemporary protest music performances and their capacity to reimagine socially engaged spiritualities in the context of the ‘War on Terror’. She is a co-editor of the 2016 volume Advancing Nonviolence and Social Transformation: New Perspective on Nonviolent Theories, published with Equinox Press, UK. Her current research interests include engaged scholarship, spatial approaches to local peacebuilding, and nonviolent social change.

Darren Ferguson, Beyond Skin

Darren Ferguson is a musician, community worker and peace activist born in Belfast. Involved in local community work and development aid work in Gambia and Romania in his teens, Darren went on to set up the organisation Beyond Skin ( in 2004 with an aim to enable the arts to address racism and sectarianism. Through Beyond Skin, Darren has developed many innovative intercultural peace projects with partners locally and abroad with flagship programmes in Colombia, Sri Lanka and, most recently, in Japan.