The guest comment of the 10th jubilee gives space to one of the founding members of the Many Peaces Magazine. Together with a small group of pioneers Paul Lauer laid the foundation of this magazine which, since 2014 has been developed by a number of committed team members from around the world.

Five years of Many Peaces Magazine. Five years of making a magazine elicitive. Ten volumes of trying, achieving and pathbreaking setbacks. Ten runs of intense cooperation amongst many dynamics. Dozens of articles showing different aspects of the Many Peaces. More than a hundred authors building – with their personal words and ideas – the base for an elicitive approach. All these different facets together create the form and content of a magazine constantly changing to become elicitive.

It is spring in the year 2014. We meet in a traditional restaurant in Nussdorf, in the North of Vienna, close to the river Danube. A group of four fellow alumni from the University of Innsbruck’s MA Program in Peace, Development, Security and International Conflict Transformation talk about the idea of founding a magazine, the „Elicitive Peace Worker Magazine“. Well, the name will not make it in the end. Still, it is the birth of the Many Peaces Magazine. But how to make a magazine elicitive? How to become an elicitive peace journalist, editor or publisher? We didn’t really know, to be honest. But, we were willing to find out. We just started by creating some editorial sections in order to get a structure to be flexible with. The five sections „Elicitive Peace Workers“, „Many Peaces Interviews“, „Alumni Projects“, „Cooperation Partners“ and „Research“ built the frame of our very first magazine, published in January 2015.

One central aim of the Many Peaces Magazine can be seen as making the Many Peaces visible by giving them a stage.

Why did we create five sections? Perhaps it is a reference, even a tribute, to the inspiring work of Wolfgang Dietrich, UNESCO Chairholder for Peace Studies at the University of Innsbruck, and his five peace families.  Following an elicitive approach we dedicated ourselves to creating the form and substance of our magazine right away. While the substance of Volume 1 was evolving with the active and coordinating energy of Adham Hamed, Mayme Lefurgey and Isabelle Guibert, I was busy creating a suitable form. In a Dionysian evening session the basic layout of the magazine was made. It has stood the test of time until today and has given the sculpture its initial form. And the form immediately met its substance. Piece by piece, through the work of many editors, authors, supporters and artists, the sculpture was brought to colorful life.

One central aim of the Many Peaces Magazine can be seen as making the Many Peaces visible by giving them a stage. As our colleague Etienne Salborn adorned our very first cover, I would like to mention his project as only one of so many telling examples: Etienne, a social entrepreneur from Germany was featured as our first „Elicitive
Peace Worker“ in order to present his project in Uganda, the „Social Innovation Academy“ (SINA) that creates spaces for elicitive peace work. Former orphans, street children, refugees and other disadvantaged youth get individual support to develop their own tools for becoming social entrepreneurs. Since then many other inspiring projects of conflict transformation around the world were portrayed in our volumes.

The portrayal of diverse peace workers as well as the many other contributions mark elicitive pieces of an elicitive magazine. A jubilee is a good moment to look back at all the rewarding and challenging moments of creating a magazine and to congratulate the current editorial team for its great work. It is also an appropriate moment
to look forward to the many more volumes to come. Finally, let us here and now celebrate this jubilee as a promising snap-shot of an ongoing process – the becoming of an elicitive magazine within the field of peace journalism.

Image Sources:

  • Bird: Ronimund Schwanninger
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