Practice: Conflict Resolution

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Let’s practice how to resolve conflicts peacefully

Don’t you sometimes wish you could get a do-over?

How often have you been in situations which have made you uncomfortable, in heated discussions, or in just a brief moment of something going on, and then, a few moments later, thought: If only I would have…

What if I told you, that you can actually practice these kinds of situations?

You can simply rewrite your own history by replaying the scene in your head and, instead of focusing on what went wrong, rewriting it in the way you wish it would have happened.

We will look at how to do that today as well, but the main tool I’d like to introduce today is called Forum Theatre.

Because this is something that works especially well in community settings, and this is the practice for the community chapter of the CREATRIX School.

In 2010, I went to Georgia (the country), to take part in a week-long training on Conflict Management for people working in the social field and /or areas of conflict.

It was a wonderful experience in itself as there were participants from, I believe, 30 different countries – some participants were from Egypt, from Palestine and from Israel, from Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, all living in places where they were raised to hate each other and many others from all around the world –  realizing that, and how we all came together to learn more about each other and also together still brings tears to my eyes.

But I’ve also learned one of the most effective tools in this training when it comes to resolving conflicts.

And that is the Forum Theatre.

It’s a wonderful tool to use, or practice, in community because it’s incredibly empowering.

What’s the Forum Theatre?

Forum theatre is a type of theatre, a form of role-play, created by Brazilian theatre director Augusto Boal.

It is one of the techniques often summarized under the umbrella term of Theatre of the Oppressed.

But you don’t need a theatre or actors and actresses for it – just a minimum of three people, ideally more, a room large enough to move around – and a conflict that you are looking to resolve.

One example of something that could be addressed in a Forum Theatre is street harassment.

If you’re a woman, or present female, or queer, I’m sure you’ve had a handful of experiences (or more) with this.

If we use street harassment as an example, as it is something many of us know, and that we maybe would wish to feel more empowered with, when we encounter it in the future, then one person has to play the role of the person who harasses someone, and someone else has to play the role of the person who gets harassed, and a third person could play someone who intervenes.

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How it works

The idea is to try out different scenarios.

So in the first round you would create a typical situation: one person standing somewhere, the other one walking by and the standing person making and inappropriate remark, while the walking person feels uncomfortable but just keeps walking.

In the second round, you could have a third person intervene and say something to the harasser and in a third round the harassed person could say something back themselves.

These are just examples, you can make up your own here, depending on your experiences and what you would like to resolve, or find new ways of dealing with.

After that, other people can join in and play out their solutions.

It’s really astonishing to see what solutions people come up with when they feel safe.

Because, obviously, this has to take place in a setting where people also feel comfortable saying what they think and feel.

Ideally, all participants would be divided into small group…

Get Your Personal Wheel of Colours

The Wheel of Colours is a traditional tool to help us understand what we need or can share in certain situations.

We are all made up out of the same colours, but they are arranged uniquely in each person – which is why we need or can give different things in different moments.

If you’d like to find out what can support YOU when starting a project, or working with other people, to successfully finish something, to heal, to spark your creativity or what your unique gift is, that you bring to the world, then the Wheel of Colours will help you to see this and yourself more clearly and show you how to use these insights in practical ways.

It will also show you how you can listen to your inner truth and that of others, what your most important lesson is in life and what challenges you might have to overcome.

Once you’ve learned what you need to learn, you can start the wheel again, this time more smoothly.

In the past, people often only got these insights and realizations towards the end of their lives – but you don’t have to wait until then.

🌈 You have the power to create your reality.

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