The goals of the Nonviolence workshop are to better understand the concept and principles of nonviolence and to promote nonviolence. We usually address this topic at advanced workshops where participants have some existing knowledge on violence, identity, teamwork and other basic topics.

Workshop Example



Five Minutes of Power Over You*

* Bittl-Drempetic. Gewaltfrei Handeln, pp. 386-387.

Type of exercise: Role play

Duration: 60 minutes

Materials: Paper and pencils


Exercise description

Divide the group up into pairs. The instructions are:

“Decide which one of you will have power over the other person for the next five minutes. If everyone is willing, one person gives the other person power over themselves for five minutes. Before the exercise begins, everyone should write down on a piece of paper or in a notebook the thoughts and feelings they have going into this exercise.”

After five minutes, the roles are reversed and the exercise is repeated.



Suggested questions for evaluating the exercise:

  • Which role was more difficult for you?
  • How did you use your power? How did you feel about it?
  • Did you feel resistance from the other person and how did you deal with that?
  • How did you feel in the role when someone else had power over you?
  • Did you resist? How?


Chair Statues About “The Power of Nonviolence”

Type of exercise: Independent work, plenary discussion

Duration: 40 minutes

Materials: 6–7 chairs


Exercise description

Instructions: The task is to use six or seven chairs to construct a statue that symbolises the power of nonviolence. After the first person constructs a statue, other people can say what they see/notice and then the “artist” can explain their statue. At least five or six people should construct a statue.



* Bittl-Drempetic. Gewaltfrei Handeln

Type of exercise: Interactive, experiential exercise

Duration: 60 minutes


Exercise description

If it is a large group, divide it into two smaller groups.

The group stands in a circle. One person is the “initiator”. The initiator steps into the centre of the circle and their task is to stand in front of each participant and to address them with the words: “Change!”. The person being addressed should react spontaneously depending on how they were addressed, and they can even say something briefly (this is not a non-verbal exercise). Proceed in a circle, slowly and without any hurry. When the initiator has done a full circle, they go back to their place and the next person in the group takes on the role of initiator. Everyone should have a turn in this role.



Suggested questions for evaluating the exercise:

  • How did you feel instructing others? How did you deliver your message?
  • How did you feel being instructed? Why?
  • How was the message delivered?
  • How did the person who demanded change act?


Wall Newspaper: What Nonviolence Means to Me

Duration: 15 minutes