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UNESCO World Art Day Forum

An online gathering to support UNESCO’s mandate to promote the arts as a bridge across differences, and as an enabler for healing and social cohesion, promoting global peace, human rights, health, and wellbeing.


15 April 2023




UN Affiliate

Under the patronage of UNESCO, in partnership with the Lab, and in collaboration with WHO and the Global Peace Education Network, this forum examined the positive impact of the arts in promoting global peace, human rights, health, and well-being. Held on World Art Day, the forum supported UNESCO’s mandate to promote the arts as a bridge across differences, and as an enabler for healing and social cohesion, with contributions from over 50 speakers internationally. The day of online talks, presentations and roundtables established the partnership between the Lab and UNESCO, and included appearances by UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Jean-Michel Jarre, Nobel Prize laureate Dr Denis Mukwege, philosopher Charles Pépin, and Dr Nisha Sajnani and Christopher Bailey (Founding Co-Directors, JAHL), among others.

Watch the Trailer below:

Dr Kessous (UNESCO Artist for Peace) remarked, “The impact of art is underestimated today. We have a limited view of the artist as someone who produces beauty devoid of social conscience. In response, many artists decide to combine activism and art to become ‘artivists’ – offering their talents to alleviate suffering, promote peace and prevent war.”


Va guila clara kessous

Dr. Guila Clara Kessous

UNESCO Artist for Peace - Ambassador for Peace of the Universal Circle of Ambassadors of Peace


Gabriela Ramos

Assistant Director-General for the Social and Human Sciences of UNESCO

Christopher Bailey

Christopher Bailey

Lab Co-Director


Dr. Nisha Sajnani

Lab Co-Director


Dr. Vicky Karkou

Director of the Research Centre for Arts and Wellbeing, Edge Hill University, UK


Dr. Pierre Lemarquis

Neurologist, Musicologist, Member of the Society of Francophone Clinical Neurophysiologists and of the New York Academy of Sciences, France


Alfredo Fort, MD, Msc. PHD

Global Health Consultant


Stephen Legari

Program Officer, Art Therapy, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts


Sophie Lessard-Latendresse

Head of the art and wellness development at the National Museum of Fine Arts of Quebec


Dr. Tony Jenkins

Manager, International Institute for Peace Education, Georgetown University, USA