A certain level of sensitivity to different forms of violence is a precondition for working on the topic of Peacebuilding. If the participants have not done the workshop aimed at sensitising them to violence, then that should be the first step.
There can be different objectives for the Peacebuilding workshop, but some of the main ones are: better understanding about what constitutes peacebuilding, better understanding of values and principles, developing a culture of criticism and self-criticism, creating space for better understanding of others and promoting nonviolence.
What Tells Us That We Are (Not) Living in Peace? What Could Lead to a New War?
Type of exercise: Work in small groups, presentations in plenary
Duration: 40 minutes
Materials: Flipchart paper, markers
Split into three groups. Each group is tasked with preparing a wall newspaper about one of the following topics:
- What tells us that we are living in peace?
- What tells us that we are not living in peace?
- What could lead to a new war?
They have 20 minutes. Then they present their work in the plenary.
Alternative version of the exercise
Instead of splitting up into small groups, wall newspapers can be prepared collectively for each of the three topics.
Large barometer: Peacebuilding
Type of exercise: Large barometer
Duration: 60–90 minutes
Materials: Prepared pieces of paper with statements (see exercise description)
The large barometer method
The poles of the barometer are “Is peacebuilding” and “Is not peacebuilding”.
Some statements and social phenomena for the barometer:
- The return of refugees
- Religious institutions
- Emphasising your national identity
- Capital punishment
- NATO bombing of Serbia and Montenegro
- Alternative civilian service
- Trying war criminals in their own countries
- Legalising soft drugs
- Censorship of the media
- Better to deal with KFOR tanks than Serb policemen
- Gay/lesbian marriages
- Gay/lesbian couples adopting children
- Peace activism
- 51% women in politics
- Arming for defence
- International community
- Humanitarian aid
- Dayton Agreement
- Privatisation – a step towards Europe
- Female pilot, female psychologist, female judge, female president, female miner, female minister, female locksmith, female mayor…
- Introducing religious instruction in schools
- Rebuilding the Ferhadija Mosque in Banja Luka
- National flag on a church steeple
- Better living standard
- Positive discrimination (affirmative action)
- Non-governmental organisations – NGOs
- The Chinese
- The Americans
- Equality of women in the military
- Revision of Second World War history
- White Armbands” action in Prijedor
- Peace activists at a commemoration for military casualties
We usually pick 10 statements for a group of 20 participants. Each statement is printed twice so that everyone has an opportunity to put at least one statement on the barometer. Often the same statement ends up in different positions on the barometer.
My Definition of Peace
Type of exercise: Individual work, presentations in plenary
Duration: 30 minutes
Materials: Different coloured paper, felt-tip pens
Everyone in the group writes their definition of peace on a different coloured piece of paper. Then a “colourful sea” of paper is made on the floor and everyone reads.
Wall Newspaper: Why is Peacebuilding Needed in My Society?
Duration: 15–20 minutes