Image: © 2016, Pecae Dialogue. Graphic by Marat Gevorgyan
The second year of “Peace Dialogue” NGO’s “ARENA: Community Theatre and Public Art” 3-year program is coming to its end. All the main events intended for this year have been completed. After the implementation of the Leadership workshop and the “ARENA: Summer school of Peace and Art”, the last activity for 2016 was the implementation of projects by the participants in their local communities: the participants were given an opportunity to apply to “Peace Dialogue” NGO with joint exchange programs ideas.
All the participants had the opportunity to apply for a project which would allow them to get closely acquainted with each other, share their own experience among each other, learn about the situation in the local communities, as well as present projects aimed at cooperative learning and strengthen the ties between the activists and independent artists functioning in the spheres of human rights and peace-building in Russian Federation, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine and Georgia. Three projects, selected by the organizers, were implemented during the months of September-October, 2016.
The first project was from the participants from Georgia and Russian Federation and envisioned a visit of the Georgian participants to Saint-Petersburg in order to exchange experiences between the ARENA participants working on similar social problems, get familiar with the situation there and further improve the relations between each other.
In the framework of the second project, participants from Ukraine, Russian Federation and Azerbaijan came up with an idea of making a documentary about the activities of human rights organizations in Azerbaijan with aim to reveal what problems and/or challenges they encounter in their daily work, particularly the organizations which deal with protection of the rights of minorities. “I have learnt a lot of new things about the process of shooting a movie,” says a member of the exchange program Lyubov Martinets and continues, “Now I know what I need to pay attention to the most. It was the first time I did such a work and it gave me huge experience which I will hopefully use very soon, while working on the next documentary”.
The third and the last project was also Russian-Ukrainian cooperation: Oksana Potapova and Nina Khodorivska (“The Theatre – for dialogue”, NGO), representing Ukraine, visited their partners at “Women of Don union” based in Novocherkassk,Russia. Meetings were organized with the refugees who fled from Eastern Ukraine to Russian Federation because of the recent conflict, other NGOs and young people from “Women of Don union” theatre clubs. Experienced Ukrainian trainers organized a forum theatrical mastership lesson for the latter.
According to the participants, unlike the forum theatre workshops, the other meetings, were more difficult, but their results were obvious. More specifically, one of the refugees from Ukraine expressed an idea of creating a displaced women’s union, where everyone can receive support. Among the other issues discussed between the representatives of local organizations, were the issues of creating a dialogue between the Russian and Ukrainian activists, reestablishment of friendly relations and the opportunities for joint projects.
In addition to all of the above mentioned, one of the ARENA’s Armenian participants came up with an initiative and is preparing a series of graphic works on militarization problems. They will be soon presented on the website of the “Peace Dialogue” NGO.
For more details, please contact Armine Zakaryan at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Project’s German Partner – OWEN – Mobile Akademie für Geschlechterdemokratie und Friedensförderung e.V.
The project “Arena: Community Theater and Public Art” 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.