In this 30-minute video, recorded as part of our 10 Peacebuilding Innovations webinar series, two members of IFIT’s Inclusive Narratives Practice Group, Sellah King’oro and Mauricio Meschoulam, discuss IFIT’s approach to narrative peacebuilding. Using the analogy of a ‘narrative tree’, they explain how simplified, divisive narratives emerge and come to dominate the narrative landscape in polarised contexts. Arguing that the unifying narratives peace actors tend to promote from outside are often rejected, they share IFIT’s approach of enriching narrative landscapes from within by increasing public awareness of narrative dynamics, amplifying many alternative stories, and working with people to transform their narratives.
Sellah and Mauricio reflect on lessons learnt from applying our narrative peacebuilding approach in collaboration, respectively, with the National Cohesion and Integration Commission in Kenya and IFIT’s brain trusts in Mexico and Colombia. A key learning from this work is that lasting peace does not come from imposing a narrative and everyone telling the same story – it emerges in societies where many complex, diverse narratives are encouraged to thrive together.