Letter of Chairperson

by Veronika Grueneisen back to Newsletter 1-2013

We are continuing to work on PCCA's mission which is: to foster learning about irresolvable collective conflict in the presence of the Other. PCCA brings victims and perpetrators, and their descendants, together around shared tasks so that both can learn and gain perspective, in the presence of the Other, about the traumatic impact of both roles and the ways in which this is passed on, generationally.

Recently PCCA has created an Advisory Board. It's task is to contribute to PCCA’s work, further supporting it in  looking at the wider societal context of the work, reflecting on its in-ternational and scientific relevance. We hope that this new structure will indeed enrich our work. Anton Obholzer a founding member of PCCA has taken up a new role as a member now of the Advisory Board and we are happy that he has been joined by Olya Khaleelee / London, Edward Shapiro / Boston.

In January this year, a seminar on “Learning from success and its contribution to people living in poverty” was held at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, in honor of the 90th birthday of Jona Rosenfeld. He is Israel Prize laureate for Social Work, Gordon Brown Professor (Emeritus) of Social Work at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Senior Advisor to the Unit of Learning From Success and Ongoing Collaborative Learning in the Human Services, Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute, JDC-Israel and JDC-Ashalim. Colleagues from Jerusalem, Haifa, the Negev as well as from Germany and France came to speak and share recent developments in this area of work. PCCA feels proud of and enriched by his membership and his interest in our own continual learning in the service our task. He has the special gift of combining a challenging attitude with warm-heartedness which is so crucial when it comes to confrontation with destructive escalation of large group conflict. 

In March 2013, Mira Erlich-Ginor was the speaker for the Eric Miller Memorial Lecture, in London. She spoke about the “The Social Protest Movement as a Dream Matrix: Facts, Politics, Dreams”. She reviewed last year’s social protests, looked at the differences and similarities among the various movements (e.g., the Arab Spring, the Occupy Movement, the Spanish Indignados), her understanding of them as a “dream in action”, and focussing on the Tent Pro-test and the Social Dreaming matrix conducted within it.

Looking to the future: Next PCCA projects

  1. Currently, possible Palestinian partners are being met to negotiate cooperation related to a project which involves Israeli and Palestinian teachers, and to test out options for coop-eration which will support a next Israeli-Palestinian conference.
  2. At the same time, PCCA is working towards setting up a German-Norwegian conference. Norway has it’s special history with German occupation, in WW II – a strong resistance (different, e.g., from Sweden which kept “neutral”) just as, of course, collaboration. Recently, public discussion in Norway touched this history more than before. Many of the heroes of the resistance have died, and mental space has grown as to look at the aftermath of the past, in all its complexities. At the same time, Norway has gone through the trauma of the Breivik massacre. Through this devastating event, awareness of rising Neo-Nazism in Norway has grown. There are similar developments in Germany, with the 10 murders of the NSU (national-socialist underground), following which the possibility of a racist background was not pursued by the authorities. This has given rise to in increase in public attention and concern about racism in Germany today, notwithstanding a lot of denial, throughout German society.

One of our most urgent needs, for the Israeli Palestinian and the German-Norwegian projects, is to obtain reliable funding, so that we can enable people, who could not afford it to participate who might benefit from our work. We are continually looking for contributions – both in terms of connections and financial support. We need everybody’s help in this effort! Do contact me for any idea you might have.

Furthermore, PCCA members have been invited individually to support a workshop on the af-termath of recent Serbian history, in Belgrade, in October 2013.

Thanks in advance, for your support.

 

Veronika  Grueneisen, Chair, PCCA
Nuernberg, April. 2013