- Postdoctoral Researcher, Turku Institute for Advanced Studies
- Author, "Sexuality after War Rape: From Narrative to Embodied Research"
- External Expert, European Association of History Educators (EUROCLIO)
- Social Justice Trainer and Workshop Facilitator
What are contexts and issues that you work on? How are you using peace education to address these issues? What keeps you going?
I am mostly dealing with the social divisions that resulted from the conflict in the 90s. Although there is mostly tension on the assumed ethno-religious differences, in my work I focus on intergenerational dialogue and the efforts of preventing the trauma transmission from traumatized parents that survived the war to their offspring born in the aftermath. In this work, I focus mostly on the 'body' and 'emotions', using different drama and theatre techniques. With the support of those approaches, we try to access the non-verbal and non-cognitive aspects that are usually also very deeply and strongly embedded and therefore hard to process. Every time I experience burnout or emotional exhaustion, I try to remember all the 'aha' moments with the youth. Throughout the years, I also learnt to commit time to my own recovery and self-care. This is usually sport, and a lot of alone time - to be sure that I can process everything in peace.
What has been your most meaningful or noteworthy moment in your peace education career?
The most striking moment was realizing how much focus is given to the cognitive understanding of the complex past and how much the language of the bodies is neglected. When I realized for the first time how much bodies can tell us (beyond words and intellectual reflection of the difficulties), I started believing that embodied work is one of the essentials if we want to break the trauma and encourage reconciliation.
How and why did you start working in peace education?
I started working in this field by first experiencing the beauties of multicultural exchange and the immense learning that comes from meeting people from other places, cultures and contexts. With this also came all the difficulties and challenges that need to be overcome in order to better understand each other, and eventually to convince those segments of the population that work against these exchanges, mostly out of fear.