Brandeis International Fellowships 2003-2004

Re-Imagining Self and Other: Creativity and Ethical Action in the Aftermath of Violence

October 13-14, 2004, Brandeis University

A Symposium of the Brandeis International Fellowship Program: Recasting Reconciliation through Culture and the Arts

The symposium brought together artists, cultural workers, peacebuilding practitioners, and scholars from five continents for a robust exchange of ideas. Audience members included Brandeis students and faculty as well as educators, conflict resolution practitioners, and artists from the greater Boston community. Many conversations among participants that began during formal sessions were continued during the breaks, including at a buffet lunch at Brandeis' Rose Art Museum.

Wednesday, October 13 ~ Theater, Shapiro Student Center
7:00 pm
Welcome and Opening Remarks
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Film, Regret to Inform and Discussion with Director
Barbara Sonneborn

In this academy-award nominated film, Barbara Sonneborn journeys to Que Sahn, Vietnam, where her husband was killed. The stories of both American and Vietnamese widows from both sides who had experienced similar losses are woven together in a powerful meditation on the devastation of all war on a personal level.


Barbara Sonneborn"Making this film has been Jeff’s gift to me. It has expanded my understanding of sorrow and suffering, of love and joy. I want people to so deeply realize the humanity of other human beings that they won't be able to kill them."
– Barbara Sonneborn

Thursday, October 14 ~ Multi-Purpose Room, Shapiro Student Center
10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Presentation and Roundtable


 Re-imagining Self and Other in Processes of Reconciliation: Stories from an African Peacebuilder
Hizkias Assefa, Ph.D. Founder and Co-coordinator, African Peacebuilding and Reconciliation Network, Nairobi, Kenya

1:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Cultural Work, the Arts, and Ethical Imagination
Presentations and Conversation

 A River Runs Through My Soul: Cultural Work, Imagination, and Trust
Jane Sapp, Director, Voices of Today; Cultural Worker, Recording Artist, Educator, and Community Organizer


 The Power of the Arts in Re-humanizing Self and Other
Olivier Urbain, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Foreign Languages and Peace Studies, Soka University, Japan and Founder and Director of the Transcend: Art and Peace Network

3:30 pm – 4:00 pm

Refreshments will be served.

4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
After Breakfast: Fasting, Forgiving, and the Self
Presentation and Discussion
Goenawan Mohamad
 "But in the experience of a victim of terror, there is a zone of experience that remains 'inaccessible'. That zone is a secret that must be respected. In the end, whoever is angry- Bush, Osama bin Laden, the Taliban soldiers, Ariel Sharon, the tortured Palestinians, and you and I - has to know: none of us can access that zone, entirely."
- Goenawan Mohamad, Director of the Institute of the Free Flow of Information, Jakarta, Indonesia; essayist, poet, and journalist

Sponsored by the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life and The Slifka Program in Intercommunal Coexistence; and co-sponsored by the Office of the Arts at Brandeis University. Funded by the United States Institute of Peace; The Rice Family Foundation; and Ellie Garber and Friends.