The day I finished editing this piece to post on
thesamenessproject.com news broke of more religious violence and more
death in Jos, Nigeria, where the conference captured in the below clip
The world can be as ugly as it can be beautiful.
This BBC article and the rest of this post on the peace conference contrasts the painful clash between the hope of change and the hopelessness of things carrying on how they are, between those who chase life through looking for their sameness and those who bring death because of their separateness.
Africa is a continent too often represented by its divisions.
Having literally been split up by guys drawing lines on a map, it’s not surprising that conflicts between different groups have caused, and still cause, massive problems.
Lines between religious groups are one of the most obvious points of
separation and news of religious violence in Africa has become all too
common. The conference highlighted in the video below was held in
Nigeria and directly confronts the two biggest religious groups, Muslims
Even if the idea of sameness isn’t your thing you have to admit that having Muslims and Christians sit together and seek out what makes them the same, rather than what makes them different, is a powerful move, and an important one for the future.
Listening to each others stories, talking face to face, and seeking those moments of sameness where people are defined by their humanity rather than their religion, tribe, ethnicity or language could be a start to overcoming some of the conflict in Nigeria, and indeed Africa.
If you would like to check out the full documentary, or view similar clips they have on display then head here: http://traubman.igc.org/vidnigeria.htm
On another note, it’s nice to see that team building exercises still included Chinese Whispers/Grapevine/Telephone and awkward sing-a-longs.