The ‘States of Mind in Conflict’ (SOMIC) project launched in August 2020, based in the Centre for Researching & Embedding Human Rights at Birkbeck, University of London. Spearheaded by Alexandre Fasel, former Swiss Ambassador to the UK, the project was initially part or a larger initiative on Art and Psychology in Mediation, which involved a series of encounters between arts and cultural practitioners, psychologists, mediators, and diplomats engaged in mediation processes.
The ‘States of Mind in Conflict’ (SOMIC) project was funded by the Swiss Federal Government research programme, with subject matter expertise provided by the Human Security Division of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA). SOMIC is a pilot study seeking to identify whether a psychological perspective might enhance the practice of peace mediation, and, if so, how. The overall aim is to assist mediators to cultivate an enhanced sensitivity to the psychological register of the peace mediation experience and to facilitate a particular type of encounter between parties to mediation that results in the creation of a ‘safe space’ – one where emotions and states of mind can be acknowledged and digested.
Launch of SOMIC findings and recommendations at the Swiss Embassy in London.