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PAX Power to the People x HIA TALKS | Conflict as opportunity


During the annual Peace Week (September 18-26) the second edition of Pax Power to the People took place. On September 19, 2021, Humanity in Action The Netherlands organized together with PAX and TivoliVredenburg the event: PAX Power to the People x HIA TALKS | Conflict as opportunity. We discussed with several guests the current polarization within the social debate and what opportunities it might offer. The keynote was provided by Senior Fellow Ufuk Kâhya. He shared in a personal story, his own experiences in a polarized society, and revealed how he remains hopeful despite it:

“At its worst, polarization is the collateral damage of social change and progress. At its best, it makes visible what was hidden and gives voice to stories that have been heard too little.” – Ufuk Kâhya


To watch the livestream, click here.

If you would like to read the keynote speech by Senior Fellow Ufuk Kâhya, click here.

Social justice warriors, climate change deniers, anti-vaxxers, farmers, FvD’ers: this is just a selection of the groups that no longer seem to be talking to each other in the year 2021. Even the results of the 2021 Parliamentary elections seem to suggest only one thing: The Netherlands is becoming increasingly polarized. With mutual distrust, distance, and loss of solidarity as a result. How can we learn to talk (again) with people who are far removed from us? And do these social and personal conflicts also contain an opportunity?

The writers Abdelkader Benali (a.o. De Vreemdeling and Reiziger van een nieuwe tijd) and Natascha van Weezel (columnist for Parool and author of Thuis bij de vijand, a.o.) will discuss this topic with each other. How do they analyze the public debate, and which tactics do they use themselves to stay in touch with “the Other”? Senior Fellow Ufuk Kâhya (2012, Amsterdam Fellowship) and currently alderman in Den Bosch shares in a personal story his own experiences in a polarized society, and reveals how he remains hopeful despite it. Guido De Graaf Bierbrauwer (PAX Non-Violent Action) explains the tactics PAX uses in conflict areas to reconcile warring parties. The socially engaged composer Merlijn Twaalfhoven will provide the musical backdrop for this program.

Pax Power to the People
PAX is organizing the second edition of PAX Power to the People, an event on activism and solidarity, during the annual Peace Week (September 18-26). Together with a.o. Roza Qaidi and Extinction Rebellion we will explore strategies of peaceful resistance. From protesting to litigation, from grassroots work to diplomacy, from theater to university, from the squares of Iraq to our own Dam.

Buy your tickets here