Episode: Dance of the Persona

EpisodeThe dance of the persona represents the episodic surface of a conflict and is its most visible layer. It may circumscribe any of the large thematic fields of justice, security, truth, and harmony. Accordingly, peace workers represent the most general category of actors and might carry out a wide variety of functions, from World Bank experts to UN soldiers, from sociologists to communication advisors. They are all ‘peace operators’ in the widest sense of the term. The episode, the direct encounter of the conflict parties, is the world of the word and of the voice. Elicitive peace operators will not attempt to lend their voice to the conflict parties; instead, they seek to create a resonant space in which the conflict parties’ own voices may be heard. They know that from the surface of the episode the words and the vibrations of the voices of the conflict parties reach the inner layers of the self and the outer layers of the social context. Peace work encourages this process. Elicitive workers understand themselves as both a constituting and transformative component of the dysfunctional system. They know that conflict work means taking part and that the episode is only the surface of a multi-layered process.