Recognizing the role of cultural resources in peacebuilding

“It is not easy, but it is not impossible” this is one of the reflections articulated by one of the participants of the second phase of the Bangsamoro Cultural Advocacy Project (BCAP) as a response to the input on Appreciative Inquiry Process. Elias Macarandas Jr. a peace advocate working in Lanao Province of Mindanao expressed this thought in recognition of the process that was used.

In 2013, iEmergence received a funding grant from the National Commission on the Culture and the Arts to initiate a program that would integrate a cultural agenda in peacebuilding in Mindanao. During the first phase, key cultural and peace advocates engaged in a discovery and dreaming session, reflecting on “culture” as a resource for peace. Building on the output of the conversations, the second phase of BCAP was conceptualized and taken into the next level of the Appreciative Inquiry process – that of Design. In October 2-3, 2015, the second phase gathered a total of 17 participants from different parts of Mindanao who are experienced in working with local communities for peacebuilding in the region. The participants were engaged in a discussion and resource mapping that also allowed them to envision and design a community where local resources are used for peace and development.

In the end, the process allowed the participants to build a “story village”, a 3D visualization that shows how local resources including local cultural practices and traditions play out in peacebuilding. This is one of the many positive images that inspired everyone in the forum to develop a more culture-sensitive and more inclusive pathway for peace.

For more information, watch this video of the whole project.