The Beyond Borders: Linking Our Stories initiative is made up of a group of feminist activist, artist and healer womyn from Turkey and Armenia who are using non-verbal techniques and body-movement to build trust, solidarity and peace among women across difficult borders.

What we do

The main focus of the Beyond Borders group is to foster creative methods for building trust among women's groups in conflict affected regions by using storytelling and performance art via non-verbal communication and body-movement methods. Although the group initially started as a peace-building initiative among Turkish and Armenian women to overcome stereotypes and enmity among each other, the long-term vision is to use the example of trust-building methods the group has developed since 2013 and continues to develop to work with other women's groups who are in need of trust and solidarity building. The ultimate goal is to link different women's stories and to create strong communities of women to co-resist the burden of nationalism, racism, xenophobia, homophobia, transphobia and sexism in their contexts.

How Did It All Start? 

The Beyond Borders: Linking Our Stories group was formed in 2012 in response to lack of innovative and women-centered peace-building initiatives between Turkey and Armenia. The idea of the project was inspired by the desire to have a woman-led and women-oriented cross-border peace-building initiative, which would incorporate oral history, storytelling and performance art as a means to contribute to Turkish-Armenian peace-building efforts on the grassroots level. Most of the peace-building initiatives across the Turkish-Armenian border have ignored the fact that women's issues and stories differ during conflict and that women can be an alternative peace and trust building force. The Beyond Borders: Linking Our Stories project has been an innovative voice and approach to trust, solidarity and peace building across the Turkish-Armenian border since its initiation. And thanks to an online fundraising campaign initiated by one of the Armenian group members in 2012, the first retreat of the group was able to take place in Sirince, Turkey in the summer of 2013. After this initial retreat, the group and project grew to include more than 20 participants, 5 different international donors, thousands of followers, and it continues to grow.