Zwischen.Drinnen.Von Masken und anderen Hüllen: Maskenarbeit als Methode Elicitiver Friedens- und Konflikttransformation

This research is based on my personal interest in the potential of theatrical mask work as a procedural method for elicitive conflict transformation. The mask, as one of the oldest objects of humanity, located between spiritual connections and cultural meanings, is examined through its diverse meanings as well as reflected upon according to its historical contexts. Based on the understanding of a relational and transpersonal self, which is always embedded in conflicts, I examine the methodological and didactical values of a performance-orientated mask work. What can we express, hide and transform with masks? Why do we need covers and the well-known persona identity? To explore these and other questions, I travelled through literature across the globe and implemented a one-week practical mask project. Accordingly, the research is supplemented with the findings of this project as well as the sharing of the personal experiences of both the researcher and the participants.

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The spiral path through mask work as a method for conflict transformation lead me through an encounter with my own fear of masks as well as my love to wear them. Masks enabled me to express something else, transgress the fixed self and see the diversity of masks humans wear. In facilitating a mask process for others, I got in touch with the vulnerable selves we all carry with us. In my experiences, masks appear as an image of our self we can dance with. They let us breathe, dream, speak and play differently. Masks gave me, in their playful way, another look at peace and conflict whose own masks may have many possibilities to transform when we see living more as a playground with different surfaces to explore.

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