The workshop begins with the physical presence of the group in some of the sites of the massacre. The attendants, through the facilitation of the educator, reconstruct the historical context of the massacre: in this way they draw on all the previous knowledge on the subject (even unconsciously: family and nonfamily stories, films, documentaries, novels, etc.) reassembling them in a shared but not monolithic framework.
In the same way, listening to the stories of some survivors, in addition to stimulating empathy towards the victims of violence, triggers, through the meditation of the educator, the debate on the complex concept of “executioner”, “perpetrator” and “viewer”. Who could have done this? Were they humans? How could a human be capable of doing this? Could you disobey? What is the boundary between personal responsibility and the influence of the context and the group? Do these things only apply in times of war? Can you just “stand and watch”?
The educator, through interaction with the participants, raises doubts and questions about the dynamics of human actions, encouraging examples directly taken from the everyday life of the students.
From being on the spot to completing the laboratory activities of elaboration and deepening, the main objective of the courses is to develop a capacity for critical thinking, to have and make available space and a time to think and discuss fundamental issues that deeply question the conscience.
The aim is not to leave Monte Sole with the comforting idea that violence is a thing of the past or only happening in places far away but to ask uncomfortable questions to the individual conscience: what is the sense of remembering the tragedies of the past? Are the mechanisms of propaganda and enemy building that led to the disasters of World War II confined there? Or do they reoccur in other spaces and times? To what extent can we self-solve if we obey an order, conform to the will of the group or “watch”?
Citizenship education: starting from self-awareness as a human being with light and shadow as a basis for an authentic relationship with others and a democratic and non-violent coexistence.
The history of Monte Sole is not an easy one and we do not believe it is ethically correct to sweeten it. At the same time, however, we deeply believe that education should not involve shock but the listening to and taking care of each individual participant in the process. For this reason, we would like to stress that it is not possible to do this route with groups of more than 15 participants per educator and that we do not recommend the “classic route” for people under the age 12.
However, the Peace School relies on professionals who are experienced guides, mediators, facilitators, and educators at the same time, in this sense, they are able to adapt the work even for the youngest, after having talked with the teacher or the head of the group to work out the most suitable proposal together.