Fundazione di Corsica and Non-Violence XXI organized the NV-Day on 15 May 15 2013, a day dedicated to nonviolence. Their goal : raising awareness about nonviolence through a varied program, conferences, testimonies, debates, comedy show, and thematic stands.
Testimonies on nonviolence cover issues such as bullying in schools, armed conflicts in South-Sudan, the case study of Pays-Basque and Corsica, the trainings in nonviolence. They aim to present violent issues and different ways to find solutions through nonviolent approaches.
From violence to nonviolence in school
Camille Valente, member of « Maman je ne veux plus aller à l’école » (mom, I don’t want to go to school anymore) presented to the public a student’s pencil case which has been destroyed by his classmates. She told about the daily suffering encountered by some students, bullied in their classroom. « No law condemns bullying », she lamented. Her solution : informing, listening and preventing because « children are very receptive. » Elisabeth Maheu, trainer in nonviolence, explained that it is necessary to « combine simple words with strong ideas with honesty and humor. » She warned about the trivialization of violence in playground, where victims often hear that they « whine for nothing. » For a good comprehension of the children, she tells them a story and they have to invent the end. By small groups, they take the role of a victim, a bullier or a witness. This work enables them to understand others’ points of view and to be aware that there are few forms of violence, including the verbal one. “Chose carefully your words because these words create the world that surrounds you” is the maxim that Anne Férot used during her testimony on trainings for nonviolence. She trains children “mediators” who regulate small conflicts in the classroom and in the playground.
From delinquency to nonviolence
Yazid Kherfi, writer of « Repris de justesse » explained that « 30 years ago, I grew up in a bad neighborhood. I became a delinquent, I get influenced and I did few years in jail ». After, he became a spokesperson for non-violence. With his truck, he drives in Ile-de France to “organize meetings in order to know each other, and then to respect each other, and finally to be able to live all together”. “There are only young people in the streets the night, he tells. During the nights and the week-ends. But the social neighborhood houses are closed at these times. So young people get badly influenced. If we are not in the public space, others are going to replace us. So I come with my truck in front of some buildings, from 7pm to midnight, sometimes later. I make some mint tea, I give some biscuits and we talk. Discussing is stronger than violence.”
The example of Corsica is discussed. « How do we grow up in a society that is told the most criminogenic ? How do children grow up when people are shot at 2km from their school ? », ask Jean-François Bernardini, singer of the band I Muvrini, who would like that stereotypes about Corsica and its inhabitants stop. "Murder is unique to humans," says Jean-Marie Muller, before declaring that men have a part of goodness and wickedness. According to him, nonviolence needs to be required : it is not about denying violence but about being opposed to it. He concludes that “everyday should be the day of nonviolence.”
Following the testimonies, the spokespersons answered to the public. The theme of nonviolence has after been explored with humor thanks to Sabine Michelin-Pigeon’s sketch. In total, more than 200 people came to this first edition of NV-Day. "It was really great," commented a member of the public, adding that "it was very varied, the testimonies were poignant. And the audience laughed at the sketch about non-violence. It was phenomenal !"