Fetzer

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An exciting new project conceived and delivered by Beyond Walls, in partnership with INCORE, University of Ulster (www.incore.ulst.ac.uk) and supported in part by the Fetzer Institute (www.fetzer.org)

Beyond Dehumanisation: towards the Transformation of Political Violence
An international gathering and sharing of costly wisdom

How can we move beyond the destruction of relationships, the bitterness, hatred, fear and revenge, the dehumanisation that typically arise from violent political conflict?
To help us respond creatively to this urgent question we are travelling to 5 different areas of conflict to learn from those with deep, personal experience of the human cost of violence and who are living examples of the potential to transform its legacy of death and destruction. In each place we are bringing together small groups of former combatants, civilians and survivors/victims – those at the bloody edge of political violence and who have found ways to move beyond dehumanisation.

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In Northern Ireland we are gathering this costly wisdom from, for example, former British and Irish paramilitaries, someone whose two brothers were murdered by paramilitaries, the father of a soldier who was killed on duty; in South Africa there is the forgiveness journey of a white mother and a black liberation fighter, who ordered the attack that killed her daughter, and ongoing reconciliation between former supporters and survivors of Apartheid; in the Middle East we learn from Israeli and Palestinian survivors as well as former members of the Israeli army and Palestinian ex-prisoners who are working together for lasting peace; in the United States our understanding is deepened by the humanising journeys of Vietnam and Iraq war veterans…

Following the reflective workshops in each area – scheduled to take place during second half of 2013 – we will also bring together participants from all these conflict areas in an international sharing of learning workshop, scheduled for Spring 2014.

Recording and filming all these workshops will enable us widely to share this hard won, practical wisdom via a series of written publications and audiovisual resources.