In 1995, the project “Democracy, Human Rights and Peaceful Conflict Resolution” began at the Nansen Academy in Lillehammer, Norway. As Lillehammer hosted the Olympics in 1994, it developed a strong solidarity with Sarajevo, at that time under siege. As a small academy with a dormitory, at the Nansen Academy we realised that we could contribute by inviting groups of people from the Western Balkans to come for three months to analyse the breakup of Yugoslavia and to identify whether it was possible to rebuild trust, communication and cooperation.
This article describes some of the specifics of the Nansen Dialogue, which made both sides feel secure enough to share their stories. The article also sheds light on how the process increased the feelings of equality and respect among the participants.
By Steinar Bryn
Pp. 58 – 87 in Creating Spaces for Dialogue – A Role for Civil Society
Publisher: The Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (2015)
Available through GPPAC (Download link, PDF 1,6 MB)