Action for Nonviolence and Peacebuilding

In the beginning of August 2018 ANP started a new cycle within the project of “Dealing with the Past in Kosovo”. From 30th September until 6th October 16 participants from all over Kosovo successfully completed seven days of training for Dealing with the Past (DwP). The participants were selected, based on defined criteria: age from 21 and up, motivation to work on DwP, gender balance, diverse communities, different professional background, and from different places of Kosovo. The heterogenic group has started a deep, emotional and very hard process of dealing with their personal fates and pain they experienced in the past.

During the first part of the training, participants were actively working on topics of nonviolent communication, teamwork, understanding conflict, prejudices and the role of gender in society. After successfully elaborating on the above mentioned topics in active group work-sessions and discussions, it was dealt with the DwP process in Germany after the Second World War. As the ANP trainers formed a “safe space” during the first days and the group built up trust, ANP was enabled to start working with DwP topics in Kosovo.

In the second part of the training the participants had the chance to learn a lot about the DwP process and as well open the discussion about burned issues. Beside the interactive workshops on the topic for DwP, participants used creative methods, like painting, to express their stories and memories from the past in an indirect and abstract way. Everyone in the training was overwhelmed by the empathy that appears when listening to the emotional experiences of the others.

At the end of the training the group discussed how they would like to document the past and especially their private and personal stories, to foster a civil narrative. The ANP trainer team received very positive feedback for the applied methods, the design of the training, the chosen venue and the selection process. Therefore the participants expressed great motivation to further be part in the project and to document their stories.

Immediately after the training the ANP team started to individually meet the participants to further develop the stories of the participants and find the right form of publishing these life stories. The ANP team is providing full support to the individuals to develop and write their life stories. However, the participants have the final say in regard to content that they would like to share with the wide audience.

Therefore, ANP feels very satisfied to have started the new cycle with a motivated group of people that is currently contributing to the reduction of the ethnocentric narratives which continues to be dominant in Kosovo. ANP is looking forward very much to intensify the work with the current group and support the participants with their contribution to achieve sustainable peace.

ANP had the great opportunity to professionally video-record personal stories from the participants of the “Dealing with the Past” project. The video is a great collection of sad and emotional personal stories. The stories are from different communities, from places all over Kosovo and took place between the end of the 19th century and today. Problems of the war of 1998 – 1999 play a central role in most of the people’s stories. The stories are connected, not directly, not palpable but connected. The composition of these different stories is a great and important contribution to the “Dealing with the Past Process” of Kosovo.

You are invited to attend the documentary film premiere and opening the exhibition “Time Links”. The documentary film and exhibition contains stories from the past of our participants of the project Dealing with the Past in Kosovo carried out by Action for Nonviolence and Peacebuilding (ANP) and Kurve Wustrow from Germany.

The exhibition will be open on Wednesday, April 26th and will remain on view until 28th of April.

Date, Time & Venue

26 April 2017 / 2 pm / National Library Prishtina

For more information please contact us:

ANP successfully conducted the second training phase with its current participants of the “Dealing with the Past (DWP)” project. From 18th to 23rd of February the participants practically learned about the variety of their individual identities and its collective formation. Furthermore, four important aspects of DWP (justice, truth, forgiveness and reconciliation) were discussed in depth. An extensive presentation about situation in South Africa, where on the one hand DWP is taken very serious but on the other hand social division among the population remains very strong, gave a good impression why participant’s contribution in documenting the past is very meaningful for Kosovo. However, a discussion initiated by the introduction of the theoretical concept of positive peace made clear that the sustainability of peace in Kosovo goes beyond DWP, an integrative society has to get build in many fields of society and remains a challenge for everyone in daily life.

Nevertheless, DWP in Kosovo society is one key issue on the path towards an integrative society based on human rights. The willingness of the participants to document their personal stories in ANP’s DWP project was reaffirmed by many participants during this training. In order to reinforce this courage of ANP’s participants during the training, next to a wider context of DWP, ANP empowered the participants to psychologically open up stories from the past, they never talked about before. The training included methods to reflect in depth on emotions, describe and discuss better and more detailed about them, and deal with stress that might appear from the acceptance of heavy emotions. They could practically learn to understand their own personal body functions triggered by emotions as well as several techniques how to calm down after having emotions that are very strong.

Altogether, 21 people from diverse communities in a created safe space were working on heavy topics for six days in a good atmosphere in Durrës, Albania. Everything was conducted in Albanian and in Serbian language to ensure the full participation possibility for everyone in this multi-ethnic training group. Everyone coming to Durrës with ANP could gain from this experience and everyone will bring back something to Kosovo’s society, joining the path towards stable peace.

On the 18th of December ANP proudly published the book “The Soul’s Remembrance” containing life stories from people living in Kosovo. For a new culture of remembrance from a civil perspective on what happened in Kosovo’s recent past.

All the participants who contributed with their life stories to the book

All the participants who contributed with their life stories to the book

On Friday ANP invited for the publishing event in the National Library of Pristina and many guests joined to get a copy of the book. The event marked the end of the first project circle of “Dealing with the Past in Kosovo” in which a multi-ethnic group of people from diverse communities jointly worked on the topic of how to deal with the own past in a post-conflict society.

Click here for the picture gallery

The book is available in English, Serbian and Albanian language, if you like to get a copy, just contact us.

Soon ANP will publish the documentary movie online about the project, which was shown on the event. Stay tuned!

18. December, National Library Pristina,
Starting at 12 pm

Related to our project Dealing with the Past in Kosovo ANP proudly presents the book The Soul’s Remembrance containing life stories of our participants.

People from all over Kosovo took the courage and wrote about their most harsh and challenging time in the recent history of Kosovo.

Come and get your copy for free, see the exhibition Circle of Memory again and watch the new documentary about the development of the project.