Strengthening Political Education and Making Forgotten Conflicts Visible

#PRIF@School_Award for the best contributions from students in Hesse

A group of 20 teenagers and four adults. The teenagers are holding up one certificate each.

On 4 July 2024, the Peace Re­search Institute Frankfurt (PRIF) is once again presenting the “#PRIF@School_Award” to students in grades 9 to 13 from Hesse. The award is presented every two years to sub­missions that deal with peace and conflict research topics in local, national and inter­national contexts in an innovative and creative way. The motto for 2024 is “Forgotten (?) Conflicts worldwide”. The #PRIF@School_Award was first presented in the 2021/22 school year.

The jury, chaired by Sabine Mannitz from PRIF and made up of represen­tatives from academia, schools, political education and civil society engage­ment, is awarding a total of four awards this year. Two individual contri­butions on Rwanda and Afghanistan as well as two group projects on Yemen and the Israel-Palestine conflict were awarded. The latter in particular shows how an unresolved conflict that has moved out of the global public eye can become pressing again and even change the global security archi­tecture.

In her laudatory speech, Sabine Mannitz, Head of Research Depart­ment at PRIF, emphasized how crucial attention is as a prerequisite for empathy: “We are constantly con­fronted with news from all over the world that shows us wars, violent conflicts, the deaths and suffering of others. It is quite normal that we filter these impressions, suppress some of them and block them out of our everyday lives. However, in order to contri­bute to the resolution of violent conflicts, we have to look and make the suffering of others visible to us.”

The broad thematic and regional spectrum of sub­missions shows the explosive nature of this year's motto and, at the same time, the interest of young people in crises and wars that are in danger of being forgotten in the shadows of other conflicts: The jury received submissions on Azer­baijan and Armenia, the Central African Republic, Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Demo­cratic Republic of Congo, among others.

With the school competition, which takes place every two years, PRIF aims to strengthen political edu­cation on peace and conflict research topics at schools in Hesse. Landes­bank Baden-Württem­berg has been secured as a sponsor for this year's prize money of 600 euros. The school awardis sponsored by the “Peace Research and Educa­tional Practice - PRIF@Schule” network, which is made up of teachers from various types of schools, peace and conflict researchers, educational researchers and experts in science communication.

PRIF congra­tulates all laureates and thanks the partici­pants for their thrilling submissions. Further infor­mation on the #PRIF@School_Award and a list of all award-winning works and prize winners can be found on the school award page.