On Friday, April 8, for two hours, NetOne – Latin America Communicators we moved, some physically and others virtually, to the Anne Frank Center in its Buenos Aires city location.
This experience was born in the Argentina network. Last year several webinars were held offering tools and experiences on different options to foster dialogue and social friendship. On the other hand, we are all challenged by the hate speech that fosters social polarization internationally and in our own countries. Thus was born the idea of the cycle: Words of Hate/Words of Peace. This event was conceived before the war in Ukraine; the new context further increased the significance of this activity.
The proposal is to visit organizations that are already working for peace in the social “cracks” near us, to learn from these experiences, how we can communicate and act better, each in his or her own field, with a broader outlook. This idea grew out of the deeper understanding of the international NetOne project: Dialogic Journalism.
Thirty people from all over Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Mexico and Spain participated in the event. Four members were added from the Anne Frank Center. Coordination was handled by the director of the Anne Frank Museum, Wanda Holsman. Her warm welcome was accompanied by a presentation of our experience by Isabel Gatti, NetOne international coordinator.
The tour of the museum began with a “reenactment” of Anne Frank’s daily life for those who attended in person, while others who followed the event virtually did the same with the virtual tour option of the Center. Deep dialogues arose along the way, fraternity among all experienced at every step.
The dialogue gathered lessons learned from the experience and questions were asked to deepen their understanding.
One teenager involved in this communication project was struck by the openness of heart and soul experienced in this experience. Coming from a more traditional Catholic background, the themes proposed by the Anne Frank Center were distant to him. Another participant stressed the importance of these spaces because communication is a cross-cutting theme in all areas of social life, so what she had experienced had nourished her enormously.
Finally, the visit concluded by emphasizing that in Anne Frank’s time there were those who cultivated violence and others who protected the victims, so we were invited to be “protectors.” Everyone who was there, along with those who followed the event online, committed to this proposal. Post-pandemic times call for this challenge for our society.