Since 2009 inmedio berlin cooperates with the Catholic University of North Rhine-Westphalia (KatHo) in a project funded by the program Conflict Prevention in South Caucasus of the German Academic Exchange Service. Seven workshops have already taken place that brought together Armenian and Azerbaijani youth, University lecturers and NGO representatives. The joint conflict resolution trainings had a focus on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, a so-called 'frozen' conflict that however still runs the high risk of escalation, which one could observe in April 2016. The two countries are officially at war and have a closed border with soldiers being killed by snipers at the line of contact every month, and some 200 people killed in April 2016 during the biggest clashes since the 1994 ceasefire.
During the 2014 workshop there were some particularly moving moments when we used the sha:re storytelling approach with the group. The participants shared very personal experiences from their childhood or more recent events that gave an insight into how each of them has been affected by and has suffered from the conflict. This brought all of them closer together on an emotional level, created mutual understanding and helped to dismantle stereotypes. In 2015 the focus was on collective historical narratives and participants discussed how different the discourses and memorisation of massacres are functioning. The aftermath of the April clashes and their effect on both societies were at the centre of the 2016 workshops.
For more information, please contact Dirk Splinter (Splinterinmedio.de).