Along with the Odessa Regional Mediation Group, the Berlin Center for integrative Mediation, CSSP, and the Center for Peace Mediation at the Viadrina University (cpm), inmedio berlin has been running a project in Odessa which seeks to strengthen and support agents of dialogue and help to build an inclusive netowork of dialogue facilitators. Shaken by the violence in Eastern Ukraine as well as by the tragic events of May 2nd, 2014, when about 50 protesters died in an occupied trade union building, the city of Odessa was struggling to maintain its tradition of peaceful coexistence of different political, religious and ethnic groups. Our joint project supported several groups of local mediators and psychotherapists in reaching out to political opponents and in creating an inclusive network of dialogue agents that promotes a constructive way of dealing with the tensions in the city and beyond.
Besides other activities, we conducted a conference and a workshop with local mediators and psychotherapists in which the participants developed conflict analyses and had room to exchange professional experiences and collect ideas what contribution mediation, dialogue and trauma work could make in order to improve the tense situation and how respective interventions had to be prepared. In 2015 we supported reach out to individuals from opposing polical camps who at a later stage founded an inclusive dialogue platform, the ‘Civil Initiative Space for Dialogue’ which bridges various gaps in society. The group has conducted various dialogue activities in Odessa in 2016. In 2017, the project activities were expanded beyond Odessa, and included networking activities and dialogues in Eastern Ukraine in cooperation with the Kyiv-based NGO Dignity Space and the Odessa regional mediation group. These activities fed into our tralateral German-Russian-Ukrainian-Dialogue Project (2019-2021) in cooperation with the NGO Ideas for change (Kyiv).