Dear Colleagues, Readers, Friends,
It really has been a long time since you have got our last NL. Finally we are ready, with a lot to read:
Since our last Newsletter, from February 2016, where we informed you about some of the changes of PCCA, more than a year has passed by. We used this time to adapt to our new situation and to find our way in different ways.
Two board members are introducing themselves.
Our colleague Adib Jarrar from Haifa and Ramalla died lately from a severe heart disease, in consequence of a very difficult surgery. Adib worked with us in both Cyprus conferences in which PCCA included Palestinian members and staff.
This was the third in the series of conferences which PCCA launched in 2012 with a focus on Europe. The first two conferences were titled "European Victims and Perpetrators, Now and Then". In view of the drastic events and turbulence in Europe, the terrorist attacks, controversial influx of refugees from the Middle East, and ethnic and religious strife, PCCA decided to focus on the currently burning issues in Europe and elsewhere.
When the group asked Silke (names have been changed to protect confidentiality) about her headache and why she might be feeling tired and bored, she turned to me and said in her German accent, “I am tired of your shit!”
PCCA is pleased to announce its next 2018 Conference.
The European Union was built in the shadow of the Holocaust in the aftermath of the war, partly to avoid a repetition of that past tragedy. Was it only a dream or an ideal? Today Europe as it has been conceived is deeply threatened and at risk of a breaking up. Old paradigms for understanding society are being challenged by phenomena such as Brexit, mass migration, financial instability and terrorist attacks.
PCCA is pleased to co-sponsor this event.
That our world is at a troublesome juncture is no news. We live in times of wars, massive migration, extreme social inequalities, religious extremism, rise of authoritarianism and terrorism - to name some of the most obvious. Some of us are closer to the heat of events, some farther away; we are all affected. The media brings these to our homes in color, in realtime, making it less possible to deny. Can we better understand this moment in order to, perhaps, learn to foresee and act, not only mourn in hindsight?
I first proposed the ‘Seeking Asylum Project’ to the members of Group Relations Australia (GRA) in 2013 in the context of disturbing policies about refugees and asylum seekers arriving by boat.
You may want to watch these two films/documentaries made by Joshua Oppenheimer:
To start with, we recommend to listen to Joshua Oppenheimer's interview regarding the film 'The Look of Silence' and Werner Herzog´s and Erol Morris talk about the film "The Act of Killing“.
Joshua Oppenheimer made these two films for BBC about the mass killings (2 million people were killed) of so called communists in Indonesia in 1965/ 66. Looking at the `abyss of trauma` into which a family falls following the death of a son. In the first film the brother confronts members of the paramilitary who reveal their brutal and bestial acts in swaggering style. The second film looks at the lives victims and perpetrators now live. The lies, fears, denial that remains as they live alongside each other. A powerful connection with the past. The author hopes the West would recognize the part they played in this (time after the cold war).