Experiential Conference: Lived Life and Future Life in the Shadow of Wars Secrets and Transparency in Norway, Germany and Elsewhere
Nansen Academy, Lillehammer / Norway, June 10th – 12th, 2014


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  • World War II has caused major atrocities in all countries affected by German invasion. These have produced profound and deeply lodged suspicion, hostility and enmity, not only between victims and perpetrators, but also in their children and grandchildren. Resistance and collaboration evolved and created hostility and silence between adversaries within and between countries, not only at the time – they were also transmitted to the second and third generation, infiltrating their lives, laying the foundation for ongoing hostility, anxiety, shame and repeated conflict. Relationships are underpinned by – sometimes hidden – memories, prejudices, stereotypes, fantasies and fears. 

    This residential conference aims to allow participants to study, reflect and work on the emotional legacy of WW II, examining how these events continue to have an impact on our personal lives today as well as on relationships between Norwegians, Germans and people from all other affected countries. Now a conjoint event in Norway is arranged by PCCA, NCPD and Nansen Academy. - Away from the pressures of ordinary life, the conference provides a safe setting for these forces to emerge, to explore how they may be understood, and whether genuine movement in the real, lived relationships between members of these groups may be possible. Focus will be on reflection and sharing experiences rather than reconciliation.

    METHOD: The conference uses a variant of the Tavistock Group Relations model, and builds on the work begun with Germans and Israelis and expanded to include Palestinians and Others. The focus is on the exploration of experience in a variety of group learning opportunities in order to discover the links between personal experience, current tensions in and between societies and historical trauma.

    MEMBERSHIP: This residential conference invites people from Germany, Norway and elsewhere – from all walks of life and all ages – who recognize the puzzling and hidden painful residues of war and historical trauma and are curious about their impact on them. No previous experience of this kind of conference is necessary.

    STAFF: The Conference Director is Renate Grønvold Bugge (Clinical and Organisational Psychologist, ISPSO, OPUS). The conference staff is an international group with extensive experience in this way of working.