ARTS FOR PEACE AND CONFIDENCE BUILDING
On 20th of November 2013, DVV International Georgia started implementation of the new project in the framework of COBERM which is a joint EU/UNDP initiative for supporting immediate and concrete initiatives to foster a peaceful transformation of conflicts. The project “Once upon a conflict: Arts for confidence building” contributes to the confidence building process between youth in Abkhazia and Georgia by involving creative techniques and art methods. The project focuses on establishing trustful relations between young art practitioners and teachers from Georgia and Abkhazia, promoting role of arts in peace building and conflict resolution and empowering young people to participate in cultural cross-border activities for changes and development.
In the frame of the project first 12 days joint workshop in Turkey brought together 24 beneficiaries of the project from Abkhazia (Sokhumi and Gali) and Georgia proper. During the workshop beneficiaries were trained in storytelling, scenario writing, puzzle tale, Forum theatre methodology, photography and production of collaborative Art projects. Programme for the workshop was jointly developed by European, Abkhaz and Georgian trainers and represent combination of fun and entertaining, creative performances and artistic initiatives, team-building activities, interactive exercises, role-plays and facilitated group discussions.
Owing to the program design, friendly and open atmosphere was created from the very beginning nurturing sense of creativity and positive emotions. This, in its turn, lifted all kinds of communication barriers and facilitated rapport-building. Already on the second day of the workshop, you could easily witness participants feeling more comfortable with each other while the interaction between them kept growing smoother.
The primary focus of the programme was enhancing team spirit that requires extensive communication, mutual trust and understanding. Activities, discussions and training in combination with production of art pieces were seamlessly blended together to make the workshop an effective catalyst for change. And the change became very obvious throughout the workshop days! Even the project staff, thoroughly aware of every single detail, was unable to distinguish between participants from divided communities. The involvement and motivation of the participants raised drastically, however, the most impressive and notable fact is that just after several days from the beginning of the workshop young teachers and art practitioners from Abkhazia and Georgia came up with an initiative of preparing a non-formal evening events.
As the first phase of the project proved to be a success, project participants are at the moment looking forward to their 2nd workshop planned for June. Meanwhile they have already started working on the animation movie which will be the final result of young art practitioners’ joint efforts.