13th European Bibliodrama Conference
From 23 to 27 August 2017
PIECES OF PEACE
"Should I not have concern…" ( Jonah)
Ein Bericht von Axel Peeters:
‘Grateful’ is probably the best word to describe how I felt on returning from this year’s European Bibliodrama Conference. After all it’s not every day that you get the opportunity to meet 73 like minded people from 13 different countries and to exchange ideas with them. This year’s conference was aptly called ‘Pieces of peace’ since it took place in the region of Flanders where 100 years ago some of the biggest battles of World War I took place. With the book of Jonah as our guide we looked for ways to bring peace to the places we visit and the people we meet.
On arrival Wednesday, after the beautiful opening ceremony, introductions were made and teams were formed. Each team would approach the story in a different manner during the following days (dancing, playing, crafting,..). Welcome to the rich world of Bibliodrama! Each team was led by 2 Bibliodrama experts from different countries. Every day experiences were exchanged between the teams in small ‘Poppy-groups’.
Each morning before breakfast we started the day of with a nice prayer service in the cosy chapel of the centre ‘Groenhove’, where we read a chapter of the book of Jonah and sang songs. Thursday we had 2 workshops in which we had ample time to get acquainted with our fellow team members and the character of Jonah. In the evening we had a delightful beer tasting session. The people from ‘Onder ’t Schuim’ introduced us to 4 very tasty local beers.
After the morning workshop on Friday we visited both a British and a German cemetery. After roaming freely among the tombstones we gathered at the local monument, to remember the fallen and sing a song of peace. In Ypres we visited the fascinating museum In Flanders Fields and the workshop ‘Coming World Remember Me’, where we each crafted a small statue to contribute to the land art installation (to be created in Ypres in 2018).
Saturday we had our final workshop and we spent the afternoon with a beautiful walk in the surrounding forest. During the walk each group could encounter several special guests with a unique story to share. I was absolutely amazed by the generous farewell banquet. We were treated to a great evening of music and dancing, with a performance of the band ‘Blue Wire’.
After the closing ceremony on Sunday we all said our farewells. My first bibliodrama conference was a memorable experience and I look forward to future editions.