Getting To Yes / Identities and Negotiations
Video: Kenan Darwich
Workshop: Friedenskreis-Syrien (Natalia Ali, Kenan Darwich, Katrin Gildemeister, Amer Katbeh, Manuel Klauser, Omar Nicolas, Michael Scheel & Kifah Seif)
Voice: Omar Nicolas
Is identity something that reflects memory or something that we invent? Do we inherit identity or is it something handed down? Can we (re)invent and articulate collective identities through negotiations? In May 2014 the Society for Peace-Syria in Berlin organized a two-day workshop on the question of Syrian identities. In this workshop our memories and ideas were transformed into language, images, and objects – into matters of our negotiations.
In the frame of the exhibition «Returningt to sender» in the HKW the Friedenskreis Syrien shows the video-installation «Getting to Yes – Negotiating Agreement without giving in». Content of the installation is the translation of negotiation processes in a visual shape, similar to those of the workshop. The film shows several negotiation processes about 8 cards, aiming to find a mutual card which could represent Syrian identity for all negotiators.
The title of the project comes from the name of the book «Getting to Yes – Negotiating Agreement without giving in», written by Roger Fisher & William Ury in 1981. The book is mainly about the Harvard-Concept, what is currently the most popular method for negotiation processes. The Harvard-Concept aims to find a constructive and peaceful agreement in conflict-situations, preferably with a win-win result for conflict parties.
The method is more than compromising. It is developed to find the best possible outcome of a conflict-situation for both of conflict-parties. Moreover, the aim is not just to find an agreement, but also to form a lasting good personal interaction between parties. Nowadays, the Harvard-Concept is applied in various areas, such as daily-life-situations, decision-making processes in organizations, conflicts in political areas, or resolving armed conflicts. The spoken text in the video is also based on the book «Getting to Yes» (Negotiation Experts negotiations.com/book-reviews/getting-to-yes/).
Descriptions of problems and solution opportunities are highlighted through two different language melodies: The first one is extra unemotional and expresses the dangers and problems of negotiation-processes. The other one is contrasting, staged in a meditative ton and gives instructions about how to get to a good solution by using a fair and efficiently approach.
Similar to visual crash courses for computer programs in the form of a short film, the functions and strategies of the Harvard-Concept are explained in detail. Thereby, the spatial and temporal discrepancy between listening (instruction and negotiation) and the visual interaction (negotiation about identities) are directed as a tutorial.