Stephanie Schwandner-Sievers, Melanie Klinkner, Wendy Cutts and Elina Kuusio delivered a ‘Reconciliation in Practice’ Workshop at this year’s Festival of Learning. The event focused on how to reconcile social communities, for which the team had carried out research in the Balkans and many other places where conflict has arisen in communities.
Participants looked into the pre-conditions of reconciliation, such as willingness/desire, forgiveness, benefit/interest, understanding, apology/sincerity and recongnition, truth, and how time, peace and safety are crucial to the process beginning. A trusted mediator is essential for such an arena, as is eating and drinking together.
The audience role played two warring Italian families (no, not the Montague’s and Capulet’s) with some being mediators of the process. It was a fun afternoon as all participants really got into character and it was fascinating to see how common ground and, eventually, a way forward was found.