Invisible Conflicts in Urban Communities – A journey through my changing relationships

This thesis explores the existence of invisible conflicts as unconscious movements shaping my relationships with my urban communities. It is a journey of discovery and self-awareness which takes place in three different cities (Guadalajara, Puerto Vallarta, and Vienna) I call home. A journey of confronting preexisting ideas and of making the decision on whether or not to transform them throughout the process of making them visible. Invisible conflicts exist only as unaware energies with potential for transformation. Whenever they appear, they become a source of knowledge to be used. After that, they disappear. The process was developed as a self-explorative process using Elicitive Conflict Mapping as a tool that helped me traveling through the mist of themes, layers, and levels.

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The project arose during my second semester (ST15) in the MA Program in Peace Studies at the University of Innsbruck, when I discovered Theatre for Living and Elicitive Conflict Mapping. The first course showed me how to make visible the conflictive situations within communities. Whereas the latest taught me how to represent and to work with those conflicts. Both courses gave me hints on the importance of group dynamics in the process of transforming conflicts. A turning point of the project emerged out after doubting my ability and position as a facilitator in a conflict situation. I wondered: “who am I to dare to work with people’s conflicts whenever I have not worked on my own?” This question led me to use my personal process and story as sources of this thesis. Through it, I discovered my own path, one that can be used as an example to others who want and dare to work on their own conflictive situations and which made me understand my position as a facilitator instead of a guide.

 

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