By invitation from International Alert, CRISP developed and facilitated a training for journalists from Armenia and Azerbaijan who write about Nagorno-Karabakh conflict from a people-centered perspective.
We started the training with getting to know each other and collecting needs and expectations. As the group had a different level of experience and expertise, we conducted an introduction to the topic of narratives (what is narrative, what are features and functions of narratives), and only then proceeded with a simulation game Kamoris about a fictive secession conflict. During the reflection on the simulation game, we did a transfer to reality: what narratives could be observed, how they influenced decision making, atmosphere etc.
When it came to the real narratives around Nagorno-Karabakh, the group easily collected over 50 different narratives which shows how deeply rooted the conflict is in both societies became in the last 30 years. We discussed narratives in conflict, as well as distinction between peace- and conflict-supportive narratives. In the end, participants reflected on influence of these narratives on their professional life and decided for themselves which of the narratives they want to address in future articles.
As participants of the project haven’t yet met each other, one of CRISP’s goals during the training was to bring the Armenian and Azerbaijani participants for a getting to know each other, meaningful exchange, and creation of synergies. Another goal was to get deeper into the topic of narratives, their role in conflicts, distinction between peace- and conflict-supportive narratives, and creation of narrative landscape for Nagorno-Karabakh.
We worked with a team of Armenian and Azerbaijani journalists, who write about Nagorno-Karabakh and human stories in the conflict. We very much enjoyed working with professionals who are extremely devoted to their job and are passionate about making a change through their work.
Participants of the training got familiar with the concept of narratives, its relation with conflicts, learned to analyze narratives and their interconnections between each other, as well as got a chance to reflect on how to approach certain narratives in their journalistic work.