The Armenian-Azerbaijani Fall School of Conflict Transformation

By Neutral Zone Editorial

On November 15-18, the Imagine Center, Imagine – Baku and On the Net NGO held the Fall School of Conflict Transformation in parallel in Tsakhkadzor, Armenia and Novkhani, Azerbaijan. Young Armenians and Azerbaijanis engaged in an interactive experience of personal and professional growth connecting with each other via social media. They discussed topics pertaining to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the Track 1 and Track 2 efforts in the conflict-resolution process, the role of identities and historical narratives in the Armenian and Azerbaijani societies, the role of media in perpetuating or transforming conflicts among many others. They connected via a video conference to share their improvised video projects meant to introduce the two groups, as well as to comprehensively discuss the film “All for the Best” that was screened simultaneously.

The film “All for the Best” of the Azerbaijani director Vagif Mustafaev is a tragicomedy set in the years of the conflict and allegorically addressing many aspects of the Armenian-Azerbaijani relations. The participants enjoyed engaging in a creative deciphering of the symbolism employed in the film that as a matter of fact touched very delicate issues revolving around the conflict and the relations and attitudes of the societies. Both the Azerbaijani and Armenian participants expressed interest in communicating with the director whose film seems an exceptional example of mutually acceptable interpretation of the conflict even if in the form of art.

Overall the Fall School created a very productive platform of connecting regional youth with a diversity of views in Armenia and Azerbaijan for an intense internal dialogue regarding the Nagorno-Karbakh conflict, as well as for an exposure of this youth to similar people on the other side for an exchange of ideas via social media.

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