The National Peace Council (NPC)

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Creative Writing and Photography Activities

The National Peace Council recognizes that promoting understanding through creative media is very effective in the process of building peace and reconciliation, if also helps to dissipate social and political tensions in society while creating a space for articulating different viewpoints and opinions to respect the diversity of values, cultures, faiths, ideas and identity of others.

Writing and photography as creative methods of communication have the potential to create an enabling environment that opens up safe spaces for people to express their ideas, interpretations and views. NPC is supporting project that comprises two segments - Write to Reconcile that focuses on enhancing creative writing skills and Out of the Frame that focuses on providing opportunities for photographers.
Write to Reconcile aimed to enable young writers to enhance their skills and understanding of creative writing to communicate effectively on peace and reconciliation issues. At the workshops, 19 female and 4 males, including a university lecturer, were trained to use different techniques to fine-tune their work.
The participants displayed their skills on building character in literature, writing free verses, building scenes, sense of place, writing memoir, creating interesting and credible dialogue and formatting rules around dialogue and inner dialogue, maintaining tension in a scene or story, and producing acrostics, sonnets and villanelles etc.
They explored the diversity of Sri Lanka’s culture, how to intersect modern and older culture and not to be biased towards any class, race or religion in their work. They were able to understand how a writer could focus his or her writing on reconciliation in national and cultural contexts.
All participants learnt further through the online forums. The comments and feedback from the director as well as other members of the chat room helped to understand mistakes and realize the proper way to rewrite pieces. Participants are currently working with project director to finalize their work, and the co- facilitator and freelance proof reader are editing the pieces for the anthology.
Out of the Frame - From submissions made by 83 photographers, 43 were selected. The number selected was higher than expected with women’s representation slightly over 50%. The selection of photographs is ongoing and the final print number may vary from the number selected but could be about 85. The image quality is high overall but final count will depend on how many can be printed which are of a reasonable quality.

The exhibition will be on July 4-10. Photographic techniques will be discussed in 6 half day workshops to enable them to produce good images reflecting issues and role of women in the society.

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david-kilgour   |   writetoreconcile  |   www.outoftheframe.lk