- “Let’s agree to listen”
ISFiT is not only workshops and cultural events. One thing about ISFiT that not everybody is aware of, is the dialogue groups. For every ISFiT, we bring in students from separate focus areas together, in an attempt at a somewhat practical approach at building peace. Following the end of the dialogue groups of ISFiT21, I had the pleasant experience of interviewing a few of the participants.
Emma Lykken Gaustad, Assistant Head of Coverage
“I didn´t know I needed it, but I did,” says Bernadette Tóth. With the Corona virus still raging on, the dialogue groups gave the participants a change to be social and to get to know new people, despite just sitting alone behind a computer. In these times, getting to know new people isn´t so easy. Bernadette tells me that she was able to form connections that she doesn´t normally form.
While the focus of this year’s dialogue groups was to bring students from Poland and Hungary together, Bernadette explains that she, being situated in Hungary, not only learned more about Poland, but also about so many other countries through the group discussions. When I asked Bernadette what she felt she gained from her participation, she mentioned the socialization and obtaining more knowledge about other countries, but she also said: “we learned to use a sort of structure, or strategy, in our discussions.” Bernadette explains that she has been able to use this structure in everyday conversations afterward and that it has really been an asset for her.
When they first started out, Bernadette told me she expected that they were supposed to convince each other that one side was right and the other was not, and that they were eventually supposed to reach some sort of conclusion, but to her surprise, they did neither of these things. “I liked that we didn´t have to agree, but I feel like everyone´s view changed a little bit nevertheless.” Although, the discussion ended up being about the political situation in Poland and Hungary, they talked about many varying topics before that. “It felt like we just kind of happened to end up with that topic.” When I asked Bernadette whether they ever reached any sort of conclusion, she replied: “No. There were no conclusions. But the lack of a conclusion was almost a conclusion of its own”.
“I liked that we didn’t have to agree, but I feel like everyone’s view changed a little bit nevertheless”Bernadette Tóth
“I would definitely recommend participating in these discussion groups to others!”. She tells me she really hopes she will be able to do something like this again, and that she wishes it was organized more often. “Some of us actually talked about organizing something like this ourselves, because we had such a good time participating. We want to give others the opportunity as well.” Bernadette goes on to praise the facilitators for the job they have done. Before the dialogue groups began, she wasn´t sure that it was going to work, considering that it had to be done digitally. However, thanks to the amazing work of the facilitators, they pulled it off. “We all talked about how this never would have worked without them.”
“When I first joined, I did not have high expectations, but I grew to love it,” Rawand Amani says. She expresses disappointment over the fact that the dialogue had to be done digitally. “I miss human contact, but we all tried so hard to bridge that,” she explains. Furthermore, just like Bernadette, Rawand goes on to praises the facilitators for a job well done.
“Participating in the dialogue seminar gave me an opportunity to practice dialogue and active listening,” Rawand mentions. She leans closer to the computer and it´s easy to tell that she is about to talk about something she is invested in. She explains that they were taught a strategy for active listening, which they then continued to practice throughout the seminars. One can listen for hours. “Usually, we don´t listen to understand, we listen to reply,” Rawand states. Because of the dialogue groups she has realized that listening does not mean that you necessarily have to reply. Furthermore, Rawand tells me that she always used to say, as many others, lets agree to disagree. However, now, she strongly disagrees with this statement; “Let´s rather agree to listen to each other, agree to understand, to accept and to put away our prejudice.”
“Let’s rather agree to listen to each other, agree to understand, to accept and to put away our prejudice”Rawand Amani
In the dialogue seminars, the participants were spread out in groups where they would discuss various topics. “We did not have topics we had to talk about, it was up to us as a group to decide, so we got to find something that touched all of our interests,” Rawand clarifies. Naturally, she was very uncertain about how the dialogues would actually go, considering they would have to have their discussions digitally, which will inevitably be a very different experience. “I got up every day and told myself: ok, I´ll do this thing for one day. But then I ended up having such a good time, so the next day I would tell myself the same thing: let´s do it one more day.” Eventually, the seminars came to an end and Rawand had been there for it all. She explains that it was particularly due to the great dynamic between the participants and the facilitators that she felt the whole thing went “so smooth”. “I would definitely recommend this to others, although I hope it´s the first and the last time it has to be digital.” Despite the set-backs of having to have a digital dialogue group, Rawand tells me that, overall, her experience has been very pleasant. “I´m happy I did it.”
- Together at a Distance
Do you want to shape the face of Trondheim?
The whole world is changing in these different times. ISFiT, Trykkeriet Scene, Folkets Hus and artist Linnéa Johannson invited you to share your perspectives and thoughts about the last year by answering questions on our Instagram story. The results are in, and we are excited about the contributions!
Linnéa Johannson will use the answers as inspiration to make six different paintings on the wall of the Trykkeriet scene in Kattveita. Together, we will make a permanent and interactive artwork in the centre of Trondheim!
The process will be streamed live and can be visited by everyone, now and in the future. Go to the Facebook event here to learn more.
- The Shakespeare of Knowledge
During ISFiT21 our Project Day 2-participants have created these poems. We want to share them with you! These are the results of 30 minutes of creativity:
- The ISFiT21 Magazine
With ISFiT well under way, we are happy to finally present you with our thematic magazine! Delve with us into the topic “Creating Knowledge”, learn about innovative ways to solve global hunger, reflect on post-truth society, or read about how students around the world feel about ISFiT’21’s theme!
Look below for some sneakpeaks from the magazine.
- ISFiT21: International Lunch
Two weeks before the festival, ISFiT will take over the soup menu at SIT, with one soup each day at the SiT cantine Hangaren in Trondheim. This is to promote ISFiT and the theme “Creating Knowledge” for the students at NTNU. There will be a total of 10 days, and the different soups will be connected to relevant and interesting topics. Read below to find out which soups we have chosen and why they are relevant to the theme of “Creating Knowledge”.
Monday 01.02: The first soup we have chosen is Vegetable Soup. Archeologists believe that we have been making soup for at least 20,000 years, and that the first soups were made by filling waterproof containers with water, vegetables, seeds etc. and boiling the content over hot rocks. The first soups ever made were vegetable soups!
Tuesday 02.02: The second soup we have chosen is meant to shed light on sustainability. We have chosen lentil soup, as this soup has a low carbon footprint. There has been and continues to be a focus on how our diet impacts the environment, and cutting out meat is one of the things we can do to make our diet more environmentally friendly. Is your diet sustainable?
Wednesday 03.02: The third soup we have chosen is an Indian soup called Mulligatawny. We chose this soup to honor and show off Licypriya Kangujam, one of the youngest climate activists globally. Her work spreading knowledge about the poor status of the environment in India and the world is important.
Thursday 04.02: The fourth soup we have chosen is vegan soup, which represents prejudice, and is meant to make you reflect on how your prejudices affect your thoughts and opinions. We encourage you to take steps towards recognising and challenging your prejudices.
Friday 05.02: ISFITs Dialogue team are shedding light on the increasing polarization and extremism happening in Hungary by arranging a 10 day long dialogue seminar. Today we have chosen the national dish of Hungary, Gulasj!
Monday 08.02: The sixth dish we have chosen is Bidos. This is a Sami stew which is meant to shed light on the prior oppression of the Sami people in Norway.
Tuesday 09.02: The seventh soup we have chosen is classic vegan potato soup. This is a sustainable soup that can be made with environmentally-friendly ingredients and that leads to minimal waste production. By serving this soup, we want to talk and spread knowledge about a ‘zero waste’ lifestyle and its benefits.
Wednesday 10.02: The company behind TikTok has been accused of censoring videos that mention Tibetan independence, demonstrating the role the media can have in “Creating Knowledge”. To draw attention to this, we have chosen Thenthuk, Tibetan noodle soup!
Thursday 11.02: The development of technology changes the nature of knowledge. This affects not only what we learn, but also how we learn. Miso Soup is a traditional soup from one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world, Japan!
Friday 12.02: On the last day of International Lunch we celebrate with cake, shifting focus towards the great work done by the Student Peace Prize Team. This year’s winner is METU LGBTI+ Solidarity for their courageous, long-lasting work for a diverse society and an inclusive education for all.
We hope you found these descriptions educational and interesting, and that you enjoy your International Lunch!