Peacemaking Nostalgia for the Sun.
15.06.2012 00:00British rain resembles the Sukhum’s, it is insistent and long-playing, and it has been raining for the second day. We are 60 km to London, in Farnham Castle built in the 12th century. It was the residence of the Bishop of Winchester, the third person in medieval England. Here lived Elizabeth, the Virgin Queen. At this time writers and painters from the South Caucasus are discussing how to turn our uneasy region into a comfort environment for habitation. The British NGO International Alert holds a meeting ” Dialogue of cultural figures of the South Caucasus. Peace through communication”.
Many participants though have never met before knew each other as the authors of two editions of literary almanac “South Caucasus” which started publishing last year. Secretary General of International Alert, Dan Smith set the pitch, proposing to share not only with views but also with feelings, hopes, fears and etc. Cultural figures spoke to us, they have not just big experience of work in conflict zones, but they actively used sculpture, art, theatre and other forms of art. Very interesting was the experience of the northern Irish city of Derry, which due to such innovations in peacemaking initiatives became a cultural capital of Europe. Much for this has been done by a painter and professor Declan McGonagle and the founder and artistic director of drama theatre Pauline Ross.
Honestly speaking some of us even shed tears when Pauline was speaking of a very emotional project in which at one scene people told true human stories, a Catholic, a Protestant, a policeman, a young guy who lost his father and other participants of the conflict which has been dragged since the 17th century. We are moving stumbling in our peaceful process, said Pauline. We have not come yet to apologize to each other, but it is already in the horizon. When the British Prime - Minister in public apologized for a Bloody Sunday, Pauline added, people in Derry cried and said that the streets of the town became clean out of violence.
The publication of almanac: “South Caucasus” in which representatives of all national literatures of our region are published has already achieved interesting results. At the presentation of the second edition a famous Georgian writer, Dato Turashvili said that he recognized the independence of Abkhazia. In a day at the same presentation in Stepanakert the writer Beso Khvedelidze no less popular, in front of the TV cameras apologized for those Georgians which had lived in Abkhazia and did not stand with arms beside Abkhazians in 14 August 1992 when the Georgian troops entered our small country.
Let’s not flatter ourselves, a peace agreement between our countries is far yet, but that two of Georgian writers found courage publicly to say these words, says about the use of personal contacts and joint Caucasian initiatives which allow to hope that at least in the far perspective there will be a possibility to revive a prosperous Caucasus.
But we are still missing the Sukhum sun which is more generous to people then the British one.