Panel discussion – how dance can contribute to peace

Discussion event on the topic “Hand-in-Hand across borders – how dance can contribute to peace”.
with Lisandra Cervantes, dancer and dance teacher from Cuba, and Serges Somé dancer and dance teacher from Ouagadougou.

So many challenges

Peace and stability are cornerstones of a functioning society. Thus, it is always a political challenge to strengthen social cohesion.
Unfortunately, cultural actors are often not involved when it comes to creating understanding for each other and promoting social cohesion.
Culture, art, dance is often not perceived as a political instrument, but only as a creative expression of traditions, personality or competencies. The importance of cultural activities and cultural actors, especially in times of war and crisis, is underestimated. The effectiveness of cultural actors in building, maintaining and spreading peace in a society, or even social cohesion is not (yet) sufficiently taken into account in national or global crisis situations.

Our activity: Talking about it

At our discussion event, two speakers were invited to talk about their experiences and realities of life, Serges Somé from Burkina Faso and Lisandra Cervantes from Germany/Cuba, moderated by Peguy Taku, writer from Cameroon. For inclusive understanding, the discussion was simultaneously translated into German and French for all participants, and there was also a whispered translation from Spanish into German for the speaker Fr Cervantes. There were 65 participants in total. After the event there was space for an informal exchange over drinks and finger food to give the participants as well as the speakers space to network and give feedback beyond what was said publicly.

Exchange in the audience

“The international perspective of the two speakers also made me aware of the transnational reality” said one participant of the event. “If you know a little bit about the current challenges of society in Germany, but then hear similar demands voiced by people from abroad, then you realize how universal these issues are, and how much you could actually learn from each other.”
Lisandra Cervantes, for example, originally from Cuba, is a dancer and dance teacher in Berlin. She was able to bring another perspective to this, not only from her professional experience in Berlin but also from her project experiences from her home country.

With effect
In the informal feedback, two visitors stated afterwards, independently of each other, that they especially kept their clear appeal “to make art and dance accessible for children” and will take it with them. In this context, Ms. Cervantes told about her experiences with dance projects with street children in Cuba, where she noticed a personal change and development of the children in contrast to other children. Her insight is mainly related to the investment in the children and young people, and here also draws an appeal to the local political level to create projects in order to invest sustainably in the future. Serges Somé reported complementary beside his current projects above all from his own experience, how dance and the dance teacher training positively influenced his life and he can draw also by the multiplication effect in his teaching very much strength.

  • Referierende Diskussionsveranstaltung "Wie kann Tanz zum Frieden beitragen"
    Referierende Diskussionsveranstaltung "Wie kann Tanz zum Frieden beitragen"

The event was sponsored by the Landesstelle für Entwicklungszusammenarbeit