"PEACE AND CONFLICT" WORKSHOP
The Opera Campana dei Caduti Foundation offers sessions geared to pupils in the last three years of primary school and middle school at its headquarters at Colle di Miravalle. Each session lasts two hours and includes a visit to the Bell; sessions are planned according to the children's age and needs, and have a strong interactive approach that aims to use dialogue, educational play, group work, the exploration of images, stories, situations and real-life witness accounts to show the many faces of violence and the resulting complexity of peace, valorise the positive aspects of conflict and difference and introduce the concept of peace as a non-violent and creative solution for conflict. For children in the last three years of primary school in particular, an approach is adopted which stimulates the imagination through storytelling and educational play.

Each session takes its cue from the children's concrete, everyday experience, considering them as "natural experts" in conflicts, and helping them to become aware of factors that generate conflict between peers or with the adult world, and the different responses - violence, indifference, cooperation - engendered by it, its relationship with their nascent identity as a source either of closure or potential for meeting and identifying with others. Through two educational games, the group is invited to role-play the world with all its different languages, religions and societies, and use their imagination to consider the last person on earth, leading to an appreciation of the vital importance of relations with other people, difference seen as a threat or as an opportunity to discover together all the facets of truth, mutual recognition and building identity by seeing ourselves reflected in the eyes of those who are different to us.
A documentary narrative the life and work of Ghandi and a brief overview of past and present approaches to non-violence, justice and reconciliation (Martin Luther King, Anne Frank, Etty Hillesum, Wangari Maathai etc.) enable a dynamic and engaging presentation of the practice of non-violence and its potential as a concrete and practicable alternative in everyday life and interpersonal relations.

At the end of the session, the children receive a timeline of events and people who have made outstanding contributions to peace through the centuries. This is an outline for an alternative history, which aims to provide the children with a motivation to continue - alone or with the help of their teachers - their research, curiosity and exploration of these topics after the session.

 

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