Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Telling stories to promote peace

Communicating peace requires stories about people. This was a key conclusion drawn by participants in the seminar “Communication is peace” that met 2-6 April 2008 in Paralimni and Agia Napa, Cyprus.

The event was organised by the European region of the World Association for Christian Communication (WACC), in cooperation with WACC-Middle East. The telling of personal stories is a compelling means of engaging an audience in the lives, needs and dreams of real people.

Communicating peace also calls for clear explanations based on careful research: simply stated, yet never over-simplified. Christian communicators and journalists must be self-critical in their use of certain words. Words can prejudge and divide, as happens in the prejudicial use of “we” and “they”. The seminar examined the role of dialogue as a principal method of promoting peace, and identified such obstacles to understanding as ignorance, distorted images and fear. Dialogue is at least as important at the grass-roots as on a national or global level. The seminar considered the “healing of memories” process as one way to overcome past injustices, while recognising that this approach cannot be imposed from above or from outside a given situation.

Read more on the WACC website