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Weekend Among Friends: Small changes making big differences

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April 25, 2019 April 28, 2019 UTC+0

A Tribute to the Other and Elsewhere

We are bound by the way we live and trying to change that world is difficult. It might be interesting to just try to understand how other groups organize and denote their world.
It is not about knowledge.
A conversation between F. David Peat and Godelieve Spaas, 2016

How often do we feel ourselves in a situation of not being understood or not being seen by the other? Equally so, we can ask ourselves how often are we able to really understand and acknowledge the other? As a dancer, scientist and entrepreneur I experience the synergy between different aspects in myself. At the same time, even after years of practice, I often fail in transferring experiences and knowledge from one of these domains to the other in my day to day work.

Making a career as a woman required being adaptive to a mainly masculine company culture. I learned how to be the other.
Working in South Afrika confronted me with views and wisdom so different from mine that I had to learn to listen with my heart and soul just because my mind couldn’t understand.

We all have developed our own ways of meeting, understanding and becoming with the other and elsewhere.

If we have a wider range of ideas, knowledge and expressions to tap into, we would probably be better equipped for developing a way of living that contributes to the wellbeing of everyone in harmony with our Earth. To evolve towards a world that does justice to all people, communities, cultures and ecosystems, we need to reach out to, relate and become with the other and other places. Can we find ways to cooperate with the earth, with wisdom rooted in other worldviews then ours and with ideas born and nurtured in other communities, disciplines, cultures and places?

This year’s Weekend Among Friends will explore meeting the other and elsewhere. How can we enlarge our space to make our thinking, doing and imagining more transformative?

To be in love is to be worldly, to be in connection with significant otherness and signifying others, on many scales, in layers of locals and globals, in ramifying webs.
Donna Haraway

As friends meeting in Pari we will explore our different ways of understanding the other and elsewhere. How do we move beyond our prejudices? What are our ways to stay with the trouble of bridging differences and weaving new entrepreneurial or communal fabrics out of diversity? By sharing our experiences, stories and curiosity we will use the diversity among friends to explore untrodden pathways to a more sustainable and just future.

Our special guest this year is Annet Henneman who travels through conflict areas in the Middle East and lives with the people in these areas over extended periods of time. Based on these highly personal meetings she creates performances as a way to bring the lives of those who live in oppression, war, and occupation closer to the ‘Western countries’.

We would like to invite you to the beautiful little village of Pari, Italy, April 25-28, 2019, to join us for the weekend and to meet with old and new friends. The landscape and community, the Pari Center and Pari Networks all represent a container in which one feels invited to have good conversations and to enjoy the company of our Pari friends, the excellent Italian food and wine, and of course the Tuscan sun and culture.

With love, Godelieve Spaas


eleanor@parinetworks.org                             godelieve@creatingchange.nl

Weekend Among Friends is an initiative of



Pari, its community and the Pari Center have a special place in my heart. The landscape and the community represent a sphere in which I feel invited to explore art, literature, science, indigenous knowledge, culture, music and poetry as means to denote, understand, reflect and renew ourselves and the world we are part of. At the same time the village serves as a place to come to rest, to listen to the silence, to nature and to celebrate a holiday.

Weekend Among Friends was born out of my longing to share this experience with friends. The weekend has become an annual event at the cross over of the good life and good conversations in a beautiful and wise environment. Dialogues pay a tribute to an idea or people that might generate reflection and renewal on personal and community level.

The overarching idea: small changes making big differences towards a social, economic and ecological just future. Thinking doing and imagining are equally important. Participants are the co-creators of the weekend. Their wisdom, experiences and expressions form the base of our exploration, rethinking and creation.

I introduce the theme of the year and from there the group as whole takes it further. No specified program, just joint dedication to explore what can become. A special guest brings in another perspective to invite other lines of thoughts to the table.
The weekend unfolds along dialogues, joint meals, hikes, music, dance meditation, making/experiencing art and other means of exchange as they appear, depending on who the participants are and what they share.


April 25, 2019
April 28, 2019