After our course weekends on street mediation, we continued to work on this topic in Akershus. We had the pleasure of attending a workshop with Peter Harris. He is known for his acting and roleplay methods focusing on the psychological aspects of human behaviour. Using masks, he illustrates ways in which we all protect ourselves and react to other people. In his workshop we worked with challenging behaviour of youth, group dynamics and the importance of belonging. We got to try on his masks and practice how to deal with different roles.
Inspired by Peter Harris, we made our own street mediation forum together with two volunteers from Akershus. The participants were volunteers from the street mediation activity. They got to share their experience with each other and plan how to further develop the activity in their local community. The volunteers came up with great ideas and games during the forum. They also had to make a roleplay, demonstrating some of the course theory.
In the first level of street mediation, you learn how a conflict escalates, to identify your triggers and ways to take care of yourself. You also learn how to deal with a conflict using the “giraffe language”. Being a giraffe means that you try to get an overview of the situation, listen and take your time. Your big heart guides you to care and speak your mind respectfully. The opposite of the giraffe is the wolf who aggressively attacks from a selfish point of view.
The second level of street mediation goes deeper into the mediator role and how to be a better communicator. To be a mediator in a conflict means being neutral, not taking sides, letting the involved parties finding a solution on their own. The final level is where you learn how to be an instructor in street mediation. All three levels use fun and creative games and the courses are based on participatory methods.
A big thank you to the street mediation coordinator in Akershus, Eva Walicki, for trusting us with this task.