Violent conflict and displacement reconfigure societies in abrupt, dramatic, and often contradictory ways. Power relations are often shaken up, with new social hierarchies emerging. Artists play a central role in periods of uncertainty and volatility, both as commentators of events and as inspirators for change. This special section explores the role of art practice in transformation in contexts of violent conflict and displacement. The articles focus on artists that either create in the context of oppression and control or respond to these contexts by creating spaces of resistance, life in and with violent conflict, transformation, and inspiration. The articles discuss a range of initiatives and artistic practices that take place in a variety of contexts, from artists involved in societal transformation in Afghanistan, Cambodia, and Syria, to artists working in Palestine, Chad, Sri Lanka, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.