Wor(l)d Peace Workshops
Writing for Peace – Intercultural Writing Groups as Dialogue Project
Writing for Peace – Intercultural Writing Groups as Dialogue Project „Only if we can recognize the suffering of the other, we will come to mutual understanding” writes Israeli psychologist and conflictmanager Dan Bar-On, who uses the concept of storytelling, to create a dialogue between people who stand on different sides of a political or religious conflict. While working for the Israeli-Iranian-Palestinian grassrootmovement “the Peace Factory”, I realized how important it is for people in a conflict, to engage in a respectful and mindful dialogue. If such a conversation happens at all, which is rarely enough, it is mostly an oral dialogue. As author and writing coach, I know, however, what a positive impact common writing in a group can have. Thus, we created the concept of intercultural writing groups, to bring people of conflicting parties together. The Wor(l)d Peace Project was born.
The Wor(l)d Peace Project – Writing for understanding
Workshop In the Wor(l)d Peace Workshops, which are a cooperation project between the Peace Factory ® and Wordspirit ©, we use the communicative elements of storytelling and intercultural dialogue, in order to evoke mutual understanding, but also various creative techniques are being used to help people to discover their creativity and find joy in writing. For our participants, this is a very positive and often enlightening experience, since they can get in touch with people from the “other side” in an energetic and creative atmosphere. The focus of our Wor(l)d Peace Writing Groups is the common writing, telling and listening to our different stories. Especially the combination of writing down and telling one’s life story or fictive stories, and attentive listening, proves to have a positive impact on mutual understanding. Our participants not only engage in a lively dialogue with the “other side”, but also often develop a new interest in creative writing.
Feedback from our participants:
Gadi Kenny, Israeli, Tel Aviv:
“This workshop managed to connect people. To humanize people. It was a good reminder for me too, that there are friendly people in Gaza and Lebanon and everywhere despite the hardship.”
Adar Weinreb, Israeli, Tel Aviv:
“It was an amazing experience to get to write and talk with other people. Getting to hear the stories of the Palestinian and Jewish struggle first hand was amazing and very moving.”
John Elias Dabshe, Palestinian, Ramallah:
“The workshop felt different than I thought. For me it was more like interacting with myself while others are doing the same. I like this technique.”
Abigail Levitt, Israeli, Ramat Gan:
“The atmosphere of the workshop was so warm and welcoming. The meditation in the beginning helped me access a part of myself that I hadn’t explored before in the writing process. I think the greatest thing about it was the feeling of connection between participants, learning a bit about people’s stories and feeling able to listen and share and be listened to.”