When I was conducting my fieldwork in rural villages in India in the aftermath of a violent conflict, I was often asked why I had come there. I said that I came to learn from them, and I did. What I learned from the local people was of immense value.
The journey continues…
Learning about people’s potential for change through this experience changed me deeply. It made me question many things, both as an academic, and as a person. I earned my PhD in Peace and Conflict Studies, but I kept thinking about the knowledge and expertise of the people who put it into practice everyday. I also thought a lot about what everyday peace means right here, starting from my own life and the community I live in. During my doctoral journey, I became mother of two children. The joys and challenges of motherhood have significantly shaped my way of thinking. Everyday I am confronted with the task of sowing peace right here, in our home. This has helped me connect more with the experiences of moms, families and caregivers in general in their powerful effort in constructing a peaceful future for the next generations. For all these reasons, I decided to launch ‘The Everyday Peace Initiative’ and dedicate my work to connect and support everyday peacebuilders around the world.
sMy main research interest is learning about how people respond to everyday forms of violence and build everyday peace. I specialize on micro-level dynamics of conflict and violence, drawing from a broad interdisciplinary background in the social sciences, including politics, international relations, sociology, anthropology, social psychology and gender studies.
My doctoral research focused on the Lalgarh movement in West-Bengal, India. The research focused on ordinary people’s experiences and perspectives of violent conflict. The fieldwork in 2013 was conducted in rural villages in West Bengal and it involved more than 90 in-depth interviews with local inhabitants, activists, former Maoists, and local state representatives. I am currently working on publications drawing from the findings of this project, particularly in regards to everyday peace and people’s perspectives on ‘grievance’.
My current research for The Everyday Peace Toolkit Project looks at how people respond to everyday violence by focusing on the micro-level dynamics of everyday violence in interpersonal interactions and relationships of power. I use digital tools to gather rich and dynamic data, while at the same time creating a virtual space where people can connect and share their experiences and knowledge.
Putting research into practice
Since 2018 I have been working on projects that aim at bringing peace research to the community. This includes building and writing on digital media platform including The Everyday Peace Blog, the Peace Critic Blog, and the Peace for Families Blog, curating a Facebook Page and two social media groups.
I also conduct workshops and events in Dunedin, such as Peace for Families workshop series in Dunedin, Peace and Yoga workshops, and Speaking of Violence Programme. I have launched a private online learning platform to offer in person and online peace coaching and education.