There are many well-established and well-proven innovative approaches, including the use of drama, storytelling, constellation work, identity workshops, expressive arts and so forth…
Below we present a selected listing of projects, work and writing on the theme of ‘Healing the Wounds of History’.
note: please click on project/article titles to proceed to [external] websites for further details.
GARDEN OF FORGIVENESS
The Garden of Forgiveness Beirut (Hadiqat As-Samah) is envisioned as a place of calm reflection, sheltered from the bustle of the city and expressing themes of understanding, forgiveness and unity. Nestled between mosques and churches, and integrating archaeological remains of surviving city layers, Hadiqat As-Samah will offer unique insights into earlier civilizations, demonstrating a shared ancestry that predates the recent conflict. By displaying these layers of civilizations, the garden will “use foundations of the past to build foundations for the future.”
THE FORGIVENESS PROJECT
The Forgiveness Project is a UK based charity that uses storytelling to explore how ideas around forgiveness, reconciliation and conflict resolution can be used to impact positively on people’s lives, through the personal testimonies of both victims and perpetrators of crime and violence. Our aim is to provide tools that facilitate conflict resolution and promote behavioural change. Central to the work is our commitment to work with ex-offenders and victims of crime as a way of modeling a restorative process.
GHFP RESEARCH REPORT ON RWANDA No. 2
This is the GHFP’s research report which reviews some of the post-genocide reconciliation efforts and their impact in Rwanda.
GHFP RESEARCH REPORT ON RWANDA No. 1
This is the GHFP’s research report which provides a briefing on the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda.
NATIONAL UNITY AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION
NURC applies both home-grown and internationally well-recognised approaches to healing and reconciliation after genocide in Rwanda.
THE ORIGINS AND PREVENTION OF GENOCIDE
Professor Ervin Staub’s analysis of the origins and prevention of genocide, mass killing, and other collective violence. Many articles are downloadable directly from
www.ervinstaub.com
AS WE FORGIVE
Could you forgive a person who murdered your family? This is the question faced by the subjects of As We Forgive, a documentary about Rosaria and Chantal – two Rwandan women coming face-to-face with the men who slaughtered their families during the 1994 genocide. In As We Forgive, director Laura Waters Hinson and narrator Mia Farrow explore these topics through the lives of four neighbors once caught in opposite tides of a genocidal bloodbath, and their extraordinary journey from death to life through forgiveness.
BEYOND RECONCILIATION
An international conference held in 1999 that explored the process of dealing with historical trauma in South Africa.
HEALING THE WOUNDS OF HISTORY INSTITUTE
The Institute applies experiential techniques to work with participants who share a common legacy of historical trauma. The process helps people work through the burden of such legacies by transforming their pain into constructive action.
HEALING THE WOUNDS OF HISTORY: INITIATIVE OF CHANGE
Since the early days of conflict in the country, Lebanese from various communities have attended annual Initiatives of Change Conferences in Caux. At home, these individuals continue to work for genuine national reconciliation – without which all efforts to rebuild the country are at risk.
HEALING TRANS-GENERATIONAL TRAUMA
Research has shown that conflict not only traumatises those who have lived through it, but also affects future generations through a process called the transgenerational transmission of trauma. Accordingly, unresolved trauma of the past is, over the years, subliminally transmitted from one generation to another and consequently develops the potential for fueling future conflicts.
CHOSEN TRAUMA AND ITS TRANS-GENERATIONAL TRANSMISSION
The term “chosen trauma” refers to the shared image of an event that causes a large group (i.e. ethnic group) to feel helpless, victimized and humiliated by another group. Of course, no group intends to be victimized, but it can “choose” to psychologize and to mythologize the event. When this occurs, the group carries the image of the event – along with associated shared feelings of hurt and shame and with the defenses against perceived shared conflicts they initiate – from generation to generation.
BREAKING CYCLES OF VIOLENCE IN LEBANON – AND BEYOND
Paper written by Alexandra Asseily. It argues that ‘current as well as past, or more historic, conflicts affect us psychologically as individuals and in our relationships, especially with loved ones (not just ‘others’ or enemies). They shape our beliefs and patterns of behaviour. This contributes to our propensity to participate in the next wave of strife or pass it on to the next generation thereby creating a cycle of violence. Thus, each one of us plays some role in this cycle either actively or passively. We each therefore bear some responsibility in it. The responsibility becomes clearer when, through our beliefs and behaviour, we pass on traumas and grievances to our children. Similarly, we can see ourselves as receivers of inherited patterns and traumas from conflicts rooted before our time. By addressing these issues and tackling them at the level of the individual and then the group, I believe we can defuse the emotional charges against the “other” that perpetuate these cycles. Central to transcending these emotional fuses is the concept of forgiveness.’
HEALING THE WOUNDS OF HISTORY WORKSHOPS
These workshops offer an integrative way of working by combining intercultural communication, conflict resolution and ethno-therapy with the expressive arts. The model involves the telling of stories, different drama therapy structures, and sometimes poetry, visual arts, movement, music and/or ritual.