Photo: © 2013, Peace Dialogue; Author: Armine Zakaryan
In the beginning of 2010 Peace Dialogue launched its three-year project called Let’s See… Let’s Choose… Let’s Change… supported by the zivik (Civil Conflict Resolution) programme of the Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations (ifa) with means from the German Federal Foreign Office. During its first phase, the project was mainly aimed at empowering young men and women in Vanadzor (Armenia) to be key actors in grassroots civic and peace activism.
In 2012, the project was expanded to involve even more young people: first from other cities and regions within Armenia and then from the Nagorno-Karabakh area. The project encourages young people to use their creative and intellectual potential to achieve understanding among conflicting parties, promote nonviolent problem solving practices, and mobilize peers in their community. The name “Let’s See… Let’s Choose… Let’s Change…” expresses the organizers’ approach, which is to see different issues that exist in the society as taboos, give them an opportunity to choose mechanisms to solve those problems and take steps to solve those problems (change) by means of non-violent actions. The project was based on the concepts of Paulo Freire’s Liberation Pedagogy and Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed approach who perceives dialogue as the only way for people to develop the ability to critically analyze the their own context, resist violence, and yet find ways to change their realty.
Since the start of the project five regional and more than 75 local initiatives have been implemented by the project staff and the participants in their respective communities. More than 160 young people, representing many parts of the societies involved in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict took part in the regional project workshops. More than 3000 young people were involved in the follow-up local initiatives implemented by the participants of these workshops. The ongoing change created from Let’s See… Let’s Choose… Let’s Change was that a large group of young Armenians now feel empowered to openly think and discuss in a critical way the society and the culture they live in today and how it may be changed for the better . Many of these young adults remain engaged in the ongoing projects, program events and meetings that are held at Peace Dialogue.
The Project՛s German Partners are – OWEN – Mobile Akademie für Geschlechterdemokratie und Friedensförderung e.V.
«La Paloma Documentaries» Production (La Paloma Documentaries)
The purchase of the shooting materials was done with the support of a Finnish NGO «CMI (Conflict Management Initiative) within the Peaceful Settlement of the Conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh (EPNK-2) project.
The project “Let՛s See… Let՛s Choose… Let՛s Change…” is supported by the zivik (Civil Conflict Resolution) programme of the Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations (ifa) with means from the German Federal Foreign Office.