TRANSCEND and the Arts

What is the Transcend Method?

It is a tool for peacebuilding designed by one of the founders of Peace and Conflict Studies, also called the “Father of Peace Studies,” Johan Galtung. Some of the main concepts are presented below.

Peace = nonviolent conflict transformation.

Positive Peace. Peace is not only the absence of war, but everything needed for people to live a truly enjoyable, meaningful and dignified life, individually and collectively. The absence of war is called “negative peace” because in this case peace is defined as what is it not, namely war.

Conflicts can be a source of creativity or destruction, so what needs to be avoided is violence. By learning how to transform conflicts with nonviolence, empathy and creativity, we can turn them into opportunities for synergy and peacebuilding.

Violence has to be identified at three levels, direct (killing/hurting), structural (exploitation/oppression) and cultural (ways of thinking that allow direct and structural violence to exist). Based on an understanding of these three levels of violence, one can conclude that negative peace is the absence of direct violence, whereas positive peace is the absence of all three types of violence, a situation where there is no direct, structural, nor cultural violence.

Transcend and the Arts. Based on the concepts above, and the many other conceptual tools found in the Transcend method, we can ask questions such as: what are the roles of music and the arts in enhancing nonviolent conflict transformation, promoting positive peace, detecting, exposing and reducing/avoiding direct, structural and cultural violence?

The Transcend: Art and Peace Network (T:AP) was established in 2000 to start answering some of these questions, and many more. Besides T:AP, the artistic branch of Transcend, there is an online university, media services, publications and more, and a vast array of networks and activities. To find out more about the
Transcend Network, please visit

DISCLAIMER: the founders and members of the T:AP Network assume responsibility for the homepage, but all other pages and contributions on this website, as well as all the material on linked websites, including the transcend network, are not necessarily supported by T:APpers.