Agape Political Camp 2015: ”Peace Pedagogy”

August 24th, 2015 1:31 pm

The ecumenical centre Agape in the Italian alps; a fruit of young peoples strife for peace and reconciliation in the aftermath of World War II, has since long been closely connected to the WSCF and SCM:ers have come here regularly to participate in one or more of the camps that are organizated throughout the month of august every summer. I came here for the first time for this years Political Camp; a week of lectures, discussions, and reflection on the theme of peace and security. Peace pedagogy is about intentionally finding new ways of speaking about ”security” and peace; a guiding question during the week has been ”Security for whom?” Participants have been challenged to reflect on new forms of activism needed to achieve genuine peoples security.

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Apart from working with and learning about these serious questions; stimulated by presentations by speakers such as indian theologian Aruna Gnanadason from the World Council of Churches, and Corrinne Williamson from the University of Tunis, there has also been lots of fun and games; a bonfire, a vegetarian cooking-workshop, ”sports for peace”, wild dancing and opportunities for fiesta (!) As I write this we are preparing for the celebration of the WSCF’S aniversary; 120 years as a key ecumenical movement and the oldest international student organization in the world. Since it all began in Vadstena, Sweden 1895 I will mark this moment as the celebrations Swedish representative with some storytelling about the planting of a little tree that has now grown, is deeply rooted in the ecumenical Spirit and has spread its branches in the form of 117 Student Christian Movements globally.

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Most of all, I have found great value in meeting activists and engaged people from all over this world, and of all ages and religious belongings. Meeting SCM:ers – some old friends & other new ones – is very much like reconnecting with a spiritual family for me. As many of you know, the ecumenical experience is something beyond words, and what is amazing is that it deepens for every encounter. My new friend Dennis, a courageous LGBT-activist from Honduras – currently living as a refugee in Costa Rica – has reignited my engagement for repressed sexual minorities globally. Mo Chit, an SCM:er I´ve met before in her homeland Burma, is one of those people that radiates joy and inspire people around her. Not to speak of my good friends Brandi (Canada) and Johana (Colombia), who I met for the first at time at the General Assembly in Bogota and now reconnect with. And many more; 18 SCM´s are represented at this very camp, and others have been here for other camps earlier this summer.

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It is indeed like being with family, in its best sense, to take part of WSCF international events. Praying, learning, acting, sharing and hoping together – with a deep and shared sense of common spiritual roots and longing for a more just and peaceful world.

Are Kaspersen

SCM of Sweden

World Student Christian Federation – Europe
Piazza di Centa 9
38122, Trento, Italy
+39 329 2099274 IBAN: IT85T0503401801000000000417 BIC: BAPPIT21179
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