This is the transitional day between the ‘Tools for Change’ conference and ‘Renewal Arts’ which starts on Sunday.
It is the morning after Swiss national day in Caux and also the end of the Tools for Change conference. This is the transitional day between the ‘Tools for Change’ conference and ‘Renewal Arts’ which starts on Sunday. People have been coming and going all day as the facilitators prepare for the next week at Mountain House.
I spoke in my last blog about the first three sessions of my learning track, ‘Team building for co-operation’. The final two sessions brought the course neatly to an end. On Wednesday we strayed away from the idea of team-building as the session was based on films, their power and influence and how we can use them to bring people together and teach lessons. We watched two short films produced by people involved with IofC. The first was a dramatized version of the speech which Russian author and visionary Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn wrote after receiving the 1970 Nobel Prize for literature. It is called ‘One Word of Truth’ and spoke about the importance of honesty and in particular the responsibility of educated people and ‘writers’ to influence the world.
The other film we watched was based on a play by Czech writer Moserava set in communist Czechoslovakia behind the ‘iron curtain’. The play focuses on the choices of some Czechs to leave their homeland and move away, mainly to Australia, and the lives of those left behind. It is a film which has relevance all around the world as it is a story of oppression and having to make certain sacrifices in order to survive even if you do not agree with the controlling regime.
At the gathering on Thursday morning the Global Indigenous Dialogue led the meeting. The recent apologies from both the Canadian and Australian governments for the treatment of the native people were shown on the big screen. The apologies particularly centred around the removal of native children from their homes and in an attempt to ‘assimilate’ them into white culture in special schools and institutes where terrible crimes and abuse occurred. It was one of the most emotional moments of the conference and there weren’t many dry eyes left in the room. The First Nation Canadians and Aborigine Australians showed their deep hurt at what had happened to their ancestors but also their willingness to forgive and move on now that their governments have acknowledged the truth.
Last night I went up to the bonfire on the mountain-side and had a long-distance view of the various fireworks-displays happening in tandem around the lake. It was another remarkable memory that I will take from Caux. Hopefully there will be many more for me to write about over the next week.