Troy Powell, Canada

On day one of the IPSI symposium on Post Conflict Transitions and International Justice, I was given IMG_0166-300x200the opportunity to take part in a fruitful discussion with people from many different countries. To explain the experience in one word, I believe “fusion” would suffice. The use of this word evinces a creative tension, an interplay if you will of disparate elements finding commonality. This process isn’t always smooth, but the end results are always transformative.

There were many sentiments shared during our intimate introductory breakout session. As I listened intently, I marvelled at how much culture informed our perceptions, our beliefs, the way we communicate but most importantly our identities, values and interests. I took the opportunity to capture some of the words spoken and placed them in a word cloud generator.

I marveled at some of the common themes that were discovered, despite our varied differences. We discussed the importance of legitimacy, structure, the true meaning of words, and the total effect of our institutions in the context of unheard voices. It was very refreshing and sobering to see. I believe these lessons will continue to illuminate and help us reflect in the following days to come.