The Mandela Dialogues 2: observations on the process

The Mandela Dialogue 2 circle in the District Six Museum, Cape Town, South Africa. Image: Werner Ryke

The Mandela Dialogues provide an international forum to discuss the complex personal, collective and professional challenges facing those engaged in reckoning with the past. Following the Mandela Dialogues 1 process (2013/2014), a second series was planned with the aim of exploring two key lines of inquiry to have emerged. Firstly, how do we create spaces safe enough for the unsayable to be said and in which those who do not even want to see each other (former enemies, perpetrators and victims, winners and losers) can begin to listen to one another’s stories? Secondly, how do we provide the foundation for sustainable cross-generational action that leads to societal change and transformation?

Twenty-nine participants were invited from nine countries (Rwanda, Nepal, Argentina, Colombia, Sri Lanka, the United States of America, South Africa, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia). The first encounter of Mandela Dialogues 2 took place in Cape Town, South Africa, in June 2016 and a second encounter took place in Colombo and Batticaloa in Sri Lanka over late October and early November 2016.

The report serves to provide an account of the process.

The Mandela Dialogues 2: observations on the process