Global symposium on conflict begins in Delhi

March 13th, 2008 - 7:15 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, March 13 (IANS) A global seminar on conflict transformation will begin here Friday that will bring around 40 scholars from around the world to speak on peace building, particularly in the context of South Asia. Discussants from Northern Ireland, South Africa, the US, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and around India will participate in the three-day symposium “Dialogic Explorations: Texts and Contexts”, at Hotel Ashok here.

Women in Security, Conflict Management and Peace (WISCOMP) - an initiative of the Foundation for Universal Responsibility - is organizing the symposium.

“The symposium will engage with the spaces for dialogue in the context of ethnic political conflict, and more especially as an approach to augment practices of coexistence in multicultural societies,” said a WISCOMP press statement.

“There will also be an attempt to examine why and to what extent dialogue is increasingly being replaced in the public and civic space by stridency, discord and sectarianism. With conventional practices of consensus building increasingly under strain, the limits and possibilities of dialogue as a philosophy, methodology, process, strategy, and/or tool will be explored.”

The symposium will focus on the lessons to be learnt from successful or thwarted dialogue processes from across the world, said the statement.

Special performances conceptualised around the theme of dialogue are among the main highlights of the event.

The first is a performance by Hector Aristizabal, a US based Colombian who bases his one-man show “Nightwind” on a true story of personal imprisonment and torture.

The solo performance will use image theatre and dynamic meditation to reach out to the audience, according to the statement.

“This will be followed by another presentation, by puppeteer Anurupa Roy who will use the medium of puppetry to explore notions of dialogue as powerful conversations that can change the way we feel, live and act.

“The focus will be on interactive communication and the interplay of words and silences to open new spaces for dialogue.”

Among many others, the programme presenters include Chairman and President of the International Institute of Sustained Dialogue and Director of International Affairs at the Kettering Foundation, Harold Saunders, Professor and Director of Conflict and Coexistence Program at Brandeis University in Boston Mari Fitzduff and Vasu Gounden, an experienced mediator, trainer, and researcher in the field of conflict resolution.

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