From documentaries, to gaming to mapping, peace-building very obviously has no limits.
Introducing yourself to a social or professional group is challenging enough and our grantees had to go a step further this week and introduce their winning proposals amongst themselves. As an outsider looking in however, you wouldn’t be able to tell that participants were anxious and perhaps a little shy during their presentations because all ideas sold themselves. When an idea is innovative enough to spark creative dialogue, new ideas are born and solutions to challenges emerge easily and naturally. The brainstorming session amongst the winners of the Knowledge Innovation Fund had this exact characteristic. Short summaries of the winning projects, based on our grantees personalized presentations, follow:
Longfish Productions will be finalizing a docudrama by the end of the year that deals with romantic relationships across the border, regardless of gender or sexual orientation. This promising idea will be promoted through an online product that will be released in March – which will entice viewers with trailer interviews, comments and feedback from the developers, participants and the general public. Stavros Makris pointed out that one of the biggest challenges the team is facing with this idea is that while quite a large number of relationships have been developed between the two communities in Cyprus, anonymity is being asked for before testimonials are collected. The team have come up with a couple of out-of-the-box ways to tackle this issue which include innovative angle-shots, enacting testimonials and using voice-over talent. The film will be called “The Thin Green Line”. Keep an eye out for these guys…
ARCHIS will be mapping the village of Rizokarpaso. The map will be interactive and digitalized and the team’s main challenge while developing their proposal is how to transform this very localized idea into an international case study. It was suggested that the team develop a communication outreach strategy once the project is in its final stages in order to introduce their idea to other regions (especially those in conflict) that might find this tool useful. An interesting little detail that was added to the presentation was an informal quote by one of the members of the ARCHIS team. Upon explaining that the final version of the digitalized map would be trilingual (English, Greek and Turkish) she stated with a laugh: “it’s funny, in the village people actually know each other’s languages, so they don’t have complicated communications problems like translating info into three different languages just to get their messages across.” Food for thought indeed…
Peace Players is developing a series of 5 short animations that follow the story of a young girl and her coach. The general idea is to explain how sports can be used in order to overcome conflict and build trusting relationships. The animations are based on the five chapters of the ‘Anatomy of Peace’ tool that had been previously developed by Peace Players. Some interesting elements that were discussed during the presentation was the difficulty of choosing the main character’s name, which needed to remain as neutral as possible and not refer to a particular religion or community, while also personalizing the character as much as possible in order to represent the viewer. The team overcame this obstacle by creating an online poll and disseminating it through facebook, so that partners and affiliates can actually become part of the creative process, thus “building momentum throughout the development process” as one member of the team pointed out. The idea of linking the final product with an educational ‘quiz-like’ tool was also discussed. The team shared their thoughts on the impact of animation and how it’s actual design also needed to be strategized. A neutral observer would immediately see that the team have already visualized their end product and were very enthusiastic about each phase of development. And as we all know, when it comes to innovation, enthusiasm is 9/10ths of the law..!
Language Bridge presented their proposal for an educational tool for learners of Greek or Turkish. They are working on the improvement of language skills through the use of common words. The two languages share a myriad of words and linguistic elements which could be used to promote peace-building for both communities. As one member of the team quotes “we’ve come to realize that the more people realize they have in common with the ‘other’ community, the more people are interested in really learning about the ‘other’ community”. Applauding the idea with promise, the rest of the grantees and facilitators wanted to know if they could submit words of their own. The Language Bridge team, enjoyed the engaging discussion that followed, welcoming the idea of new submissions, but emphasized the need to monitor any incoming information. Who needs cement and steel, when bridges can be built with words…
AHDR proposed the development of a geographical online game that would map Nicosia and develop into stages of competence based on the users knowledge of the city. The game is targeted at children from 8 to 14 years old and was described as an interactive educational tool that would offer both communities an opportunity to get to know the ‘other side’, of the last remaining divided capital in Europe. The team went on to explain the nature of the game which included online puzzle completion, drag and drop features of landmarks and the identification of major parts of Nicosia through historical photographs. Geography and history made fun? Who knew?
The Management Centre and the NGO Support Centre have worked together on numerous successful projects over the years and have joined forces once again for the development of a winning proposal for the Knowledge and Innovation Fund. The proposed project includes the development of an interactive and engaging webinar platform that will help peace-builders around the globe access the information and knowledge the two centres have gained as Civil Society representatives in a country in conflict. The team proposed the finalization of seven generalized challenges that many peace-builders around the world often face and answer questions based on these challenges. The team was interested as to how the two Centres were planning to make the webinars as compelling as possible as far as the online format was concerned and the representative of the two Centres was eager to hear as many suggestions as possible. The two centres are very active online, as are many of the grantees, so please make sure you follow-up with their progress, give them your feedback and encourage them as much as possible!
The Mediation Association proposed documenting the history of mediation and training on an online platform. This would include personal experiences and testimonials as well as partial gems of knowledge that would be useful for mediators around the world, especially when one considers the unique nature of peace-related mediation and training in Cyprus. The goal is to create a map in tagged with 2-3 minute videos that aim to open up new active dialogues amongst mediators in Cyprus and abroad. It was emphasized that the documentation of the Civil Society’s work over the course of the years would serve as interesting and useful research but is also quite culturally significant. Good luck guys!
Watch this space for more updates soon!
Peace it Together