Angelica Edna Calo` Livne – Israel and Italy

Linked with Israeli theater group encourages Arab and Jewish youngsters to take off their masks, with the Beresheet La’Shalom Foundation BLF.

She is one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Price 2005.

Angelica Edna Calo Livne is an educator and advocate of peace through arts, among children from different religious and cultural backgrounds. In 2002, Angelica created the Rainbow Theater, in the Upper Galilee of Israel, involving young Jews and Arabs, Christians, Muslims and Druses, who with mime and dance narrate what goes on in the mind of an adolescent living in a country at war. Using their bodies, the actors express their inner thoughts and burning desires to accept people and be accepted as they are. One of Angelica’s projects is to help children physically hurt by terrorist attacks. Angelica Edna Calo Livne, born to a Jewish family in Rome in 1955, has been living in an Israeli Kibbutz, on the border with Lebanon, since she was 20. Married and the mother of four sons, she has been for many years a teacher in multi-cultural schools, and in schools for difficult boys. She obtained her PhD from Tor Vergata University of Rome, Arts in Education to Reach Peace. She also completed a MED in “Integration of the Arts in Education” from Lesley University Boston, Graduate School of Arts. She has obtained several diplomas from different international universities, such as the Tel Hai College, Diploma of “Leadership in Education”; the Tel Hai College, Diploma of “Negotiation and Mediation”; the Seminar Oranim College, Diploma of Director for Educative Theatre; the Seminar Hakibbutzim College, Diploma of Theatre, Acting and Direction; the University “La Sapienza” Studies of Sociology; and High Rabbinical School of Rome Studies of Hebrew Culture and Philosophy … (1000peacewomen 1/2).

She says: … “The most important message that we can give now to all the humanity is that difference is the richness, that dialog is so important now for everybody, not (only) for us in Israel. This is now the imperative, I think” … The Arcobaleno-Rainbow Theatre Group uses the universal language of music and dance to convey their massage. Their play “Beresheet” is a call for peace, tolerance and mutual respect. Edna Angelica Calò Livné is the group’s inspirational founder and artistic director. She believes people can use art and theatre to positively influence the society in which they live … (full text).

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Angelica Edna Calo` Livne – Israel and Italy

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Angelica Edna Calo` Livne is the coordinator of all educational activities of the Foundation. Born in Rome, Italy, she was one of the leaders of the youth Zionist Movement Hashomer Hatzair and she studied in the Rabbinical College of Rome. She has a B.A. degree in Social Theatre, M. Ed. in Integrating the Arts in Education and a PhD in Italian Literature. She has received several awards for her activities for peace and was candidate to Saharov Prize by the Euro Parliament and Nobel Prize for Peace 2005. She has written two books in Italian and lectures all over the world about her rich experience of education to peace. (on Beresheet La’Shalom Foundation).

… mi chiamo Angelica Edna Calo Livne, sono nata Roma e vivo da molti anni in Israele in un Kibbuz al confine con il Libano. Ho quattro figli e accanto al mio compagno, Yehuda, nato nel Kibbuz, dedichiamo la nostra vita all’educazione al dialogo, alla pace, alla coesistenza e al rispetto per l’altro. Nel 2004 abbiamo creato la Fondazione “Beresheet LaShalom”  Per educare alla pace attraverso le arti. Fondazione Beresheet LaShalom e’ stata fondata nel 2004. e questi sono i suoi obbiettivi: … (full text).

Yehuda and Edna live in Kibbutz Sasa on the Lebanese border and they have four boys: Yehuda Calo` Livne is the administrator and the executive manager of Beresheet Lashalom. He was born in Kibbutz Sasa. He teaches Communication and Technology and he has 25 years of experience in formal and non-formal education. He specialized in educational work with special needs students. As educational director for three years of the youth movement Hashomer Hatzair in Israel, he led several pedagogical and political projects for peace. Yehuda and Edna founded the Beresheet La’Shalom Foundation BLF (see there the Founders).

She says also: “Understanding the different cultures, the traditions of people from different religions, races and nationalities, is something that has to be taught to your children from a very young age”. (1000peacewomen).

She writes: In October 2004 I went to Israel to write about the tenth anniversary of a Nobel Prize that had been given to three men who’d committed themselves to creating peace in the Middle East: Palestinian President Yasser Arafat, Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin … // … So there was no dialogue to speak of. Deeply discouraged, I didn’t write about my trip. Then, while researching this column for Glamour, I read these words penned by a woman in northern Israel. “What if there were more than one truth?” she wrote in her book, A Yes, a Beginning, a Hope. “What if we embraced our many truths and found our common ground?” The author was not a politician but a schoolteacher who promotes understanding across religious and ethnic boundaries. Her suggestions for ways to heal wounds between warring neighbors drew me back to Israel. (full text, January 4, 2008 ).

(1000peacewomen 2/2): … Angelica has also taught at college level and has worked on programs that encourage the elderly to recount their life experiences to young people. Angelica describes herself as an “educator of peace through art.” In 2002, she was inspired to create the Rainbow Theater, bringing together young Jews and Arabs, Christians, Muslims and Druses, who with mime and dance narrate what goes on in the mind of an adolescent living in a country at war. Angelica passionately believes that art and theater can be a driving force for people who believe in human rights and ethics and want to exert a positive influence on the society.

Meetings within the framework of the theater encourage people from different backgrounds to renew the interaction between them and discover the treasures hidden deep in their souls.” Such discoveries”, she says, “can teach us to love the people around us to the point where we can become important elements in the positive effort to change and improve the world in which we live.” Angelica has been working in education since 1970. She always believed in education as an engine of change to improve the world and to make it a better place to live in.

From the beginning of the second Intifada (Palestinian Uprising in 2000) she started to write in Italian newspapers about the real and profound desire of the Israeli mothers to reach peace. One of the editors asked her to interview Samar Sahhar in East Jerusalem and together they started to explain to people in various parts in the world that Peace is possible.

Angelica’s main working method is creating special relationships among people from different backgrounds through the integration of Arts in Education, through learning the verbal and non-verbal dialogue between people and through careful and thoughtful listening to the other. She believes that the personal history of every person’s culture, traditions and dreams becomes a treasure to share with other people to enrich and encourage them to act for a positive life for themselves and the people around them.

After the first Intifada in 2000, Angelica felt that she could not just stand by and watch the terrible events taking place in the Middle East and in the world. She was driven by her conscience, a sense of responsibility and an inner feeling to aid the children suffering from these tragic times. She started her work with no funding and was gradually able to stimulate people’s interest in her goals of peace. In a world of many (and often clashing) cultures, she was able to bring diverse groups together, all with the purpose of promoting peace, and mutual tolerance and appreciation.

The Rainbow Theatre that Angelica has established is a unique initiative. She has gathered 28 boys and girls from among Russian immigrants, Arabic children from the Fassouta village, young persons from Safed (the home of Kabbalah), and from Jewish religious villages (moshavim and kibbutzim) in the Galilee. She has concerted them to perform a show named “Bereshit” (meaning “in the beginning”). It is based on mime, music and dance. Through artistic movements the actors express the tragic moments of two peoples, who for years have lived side by side, but until now have been unable to come together in mutual understanding, respect and tolerance. As the play unfolds, subtle movements show that there is indeed an opportunity to live in harmony and peace. It is an emotional presentation leaving many in the audience in tears of hopeful understanding.

Angelica describes the case of a girl who on one occasion began crying out a monologue in which she recounted her experience during the last ‘holidays’ in Mombasa, Kenya, with her parents and younger brothers when the wonderful hotel in which they were staying was turned into a scene of death and horror after a blast against Israeli tourists.

To illustrate her work, Angelica quotes a letter written by 21-year-old Nemi: “Four of my best friends have died in an attack. When I heard about it, I didn’t want to take part in the show. I no longer believed in anything. I did not feel like doing anything. But I had to react. We must continue to believe in something. We cannot stop dreaming.” Sharif Balut, a 21-year-old Christian Arab, wrote: “I come to the Rainbow Theater because I believe in peace. Because I believe that we will be able to live together, because we are different and through my friends I know new worlds. I look forward to this meeting all week because it enlarges my heart. To dance, laugh, joke and recite with them makes me happy!” Angelica said: “I believe profoundly that our work is a message of confidence in the future, a victory of good over evil and over the darkness that continues to shroud the world.”

Angelica also initiated the operation of a camp for children who are traumatized by the terrorist attacks. In coordination with the OSE Association from Italy she organizes a trip for them to Tuscany, Italy, and helps them recuperate together and smile again.

Angelica began her PhD studies in Rome, University of Tor Vergata specializing in “The stranger in Pirandello’s works, to reach Peace through Arts.” She authored a book titled “A Yes, a Beginning, a Hope” that has become very popular in Italy and is going to be translated into English. The book describes peace as a dream people can realize through collaborative efforts. She supplements this book with lectures to adults and children and takes part in debates to highlight the different viewpoints and to develop a deeper awareness of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and its repercussions. Angelica also presents the chance of progressing beyond it and using positive strengths to build peace. Many students in Italy, for example, have asked to learn more and to take part in Angelica’s projects after they had met her.

Angelica has been promoting peace among children from different faiths, cultures and villages and has managed to create a bridge between Israelis and Palestinians through her friendship with Samar Sahhar. Angelica disperses a dialogue of peace wherever she travels. Her positive influence can be seen everywhere, whether amongst the audiences of the Rainbow Theatre, the participants of her workshops and activities, or amongst people she meets in daily life activities. She’is constantly helping to spread the idea of difference as something that can enrich people and teach them to be open towards other cultures. It carries the message that you can love your own identity, but at the same time you have to appreciate and respect the love of others for their identities.

The beneficiaries of Angelica’s work are mainly Jewish and Palestinian children, whether directly or indirectly; adults learning of the complexities of everyday life in Israel and Palestine and of the possibility and potential of change; and all who come into contact with Angelica, through her articles, theatre group and her book. They have learned to widen their own knowledge and respect other faiths as well as the value and the role of women in this quest for peace.

Angelica has inspired both the young and the old through her educational models for peace. Her book “A yes, a Beginning, a Hope”, has been used by many teachers in schools everywhere to show how a different future is possible. Children from all over the world are asking if there’s a chance for them to take part in similar activities. Today, of course, it is not possible. Angelica has no theatre of her own and no school, but if she realizes her dream, she will establish the first “Peace University”, open to people from all over the world.

Angelica was awarded a Peace Prize in Alghero– Italy, with Samar Sahhar, a Palestinian companion for their activities for Peace (2003). She has also won the 2004 Italian Assisi Peace Prize with Samar Sahhar embracing a friendship that is a symbol of the longing for peace in Israel. (on 1000peacewomen).

links:

Bread for Peace, a Beresheet LaShalom Foundation Initiative (in english and in italiano);

masksoff.org;

radioshalomsalaam.org, A Radio Program by the Teatro Arcobaleno~Rainbow Theatre (It began by chance and has now expanded into something unique and special);

un pas vers la paix.org (Beresheet La’Shalom à Genève);

united colours of galilee.org (The Beresheet La’Shalom Soccer Team);

Note on the first year of activities of the Subcommittee on Human Rights, 18 pdf-pages;

The Rainbow Theatre’s Press Room.

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