Dealing with the Past Fishbowl

Exercise description


The fishbowl method is described in detail at the beginning of this section on p. 65.

There are four chairs in the fishbowl: three are taken up by people who want to discuss the topic, while the fourth chair is reserved for people that one of the three invite into the fishbowl.

Topics are discussed for 10 to 15 minutes.

Some topics for the fishbowl:

  • The truth is more important than reconciliation.
  • You should deal with the past in your own back yard first.
  • I feel responsible for what was done in the name of my people.
  • Reconciliation is a personal choice.
  • National identities are an obstacle to reconciliation.
  • The most important task of dealing with the past is to convict war criminals.
  • National identity determines your attitude to the past.
  • If it had been up to the people, there would never have been a war.
  • Everyone should only criticise their own side.
  • Who is to blame for the war?
  • I feel more pain for the victims that belonged to my people.
  • In war, all sides are equally to blame.
  • War crimes should only be prosecuted by domestic courts.

Type of exercise:


45-90 min


Possible difficulties:

Related Workshops:

Dealing with the past

Workshop example:

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