ARENA: Community Theatre and Public Art. Phase 3

February 12, 2017
ARENA: Community Theatre and Public Art. Phase 3
© 2017, Peace Dialogue, “ARENA: Community Theatre and Public Art. Phase 3.”
Collage by Edgar Khachatryan.

ARENA: Community Theatre and Public ArtThe three-year project “ARENA: Community Theatre and Public Art” was launched in 2015 by Armenian NGO Peace Dialogue and its German partner OWEN e.V. The project is aimed at improving the impact of peace building on community and regional levels through developing relevant pro-active strategies for community based peace building and creating a safe and supportive network for civil society groups from South Caucasus, Russian Federation and Ukraine.

During the first phase of the project in 2015, civil society actors from the Russian Federation, Georgia, Armenia, Ukraine, and Azerbaijan were invited to take part in two workshops on Systematization of Experiences in Tbilisi.

For more on the articles about the workshops on Systematization of Experiences, see the links below:

  1. Learning from Experience (May 8-15, 2015)
  2. Arena: Analysis of own Experience (August 20-25, 2015)

Apart from these events, the project team supported several local initiatives of the project participants aimed at documenting and analyzing their own community based human rights and peacebuilding work.

In 2016 three key regional initiatives were organized by the project implementing team:

  1. Workshop “Leadership and Leadership Support in Community Based Peace Work”. See “Where were you before the war?” (April 9-12, 2016).
  2. Summer School for Peace and Art in Borjomi, Georgia (July 7-16, 2016)
  3. The participants were given an opportunity to apply to Peace Dialogue with joint exchange program ideas. Three projects, selected by the organizers, were implemented during the months of September-December, 2016. See “ARENA: Exchange Programs for Activists and Artists from Post-Soviet Countries”.

The third phase of the project consists of three main components:

  • Capacity building and mutual learning;
  • Relation building, retreat and networking;
  • Analyzing and strategizing.

 In 2017 the regional capacity building activities of the project will be held in two parallel directions:

  • Community based peace work and
  • Systematization and analysis of the lessons learned.

Before the third phase of the project the participants will have an opportunity to choose which one of the two directions best fits to their needs, interests and potential.

In the framework of the capacity building component of the project, two parallel workshops will be organized for 37 participants in Tbilisi (Georgia) in 2017:

  1. 4-day Workshop on using art and visualization as a mean for dialogue between different segments of society.
  2. 4-day Workshop for reconstructing and analyzing the documented materials for systematizing the experiences of ARENA project for 2015 and 2016.

Before and after each of the workshops the participants will be assigned with specific tasks. The tasks will be implemented as local activities and will help them use the gained capacities and knowledge in practice. Moreover, these tasks will create an opportunity to multiply the effect of the project in the participants’ respective communities.

In addition, a 7-day Summer School for Creative Strategizing will be organized in the framework of the ARENA project. Apart from its main aim to develop a strategy for the ARENA network, the Summer School will be aimed at creating a common ground for the commitment for the ARENA network in the future, creating a common identity among the participants and overcoming the loneliness and isolation in their communities. To this end the project team strives to provide a retreat for the participants where they can do their activities, learn from each other in a safe and relaxing atmosphere. For this purpose the event will take place in the Austrian Study Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution (ASPR) in Stadtschlaining, Austria. The place is well known as a unique center for peace education in Europe.

For more details, please contact Armine Zakaryan at zarmine@peacedialogue.am

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The Project’s German Partner – OWEN – Mobile Akademie für Geschlechterdemokratie und Friedensförderung e.V.

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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.

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