Interview with Laura Shipler Chico in connection with The Elsewhere Ensemble’s performances of “Invocation – a prayer for peace”. Laura Shipler Chico is a senior consultant, freelance writer and peace practitioner who has dedicated her career to supporting local change agents and raising their profile with international audiences. During 25 years of experience in project development and management, Laura has worked extensively with people impacted by armed conflict, genocide, torture and gender-based violence in Africa, Asia and North America. Laura lived in Rwanda after the genocide, working alongside Rwandan peacebuilders to bring together survivors and perpetrators for collective trauma healing and recovery. She worked on the Thai-Myanmar border within the Myanmar democracy movement, with a group of activists who brought together refugee and exiled women from different ethnic groups to build collaborative alliances. More recently, she has offered consultancy services to international peace organizations, helping to manage and evaluate programs in Burundi, the Central Africa Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali and Pakistan. In collaboration with African Quaker peace activists, she curated an exhibition and book entitled This Light that Pushes Me: Stories of African Peacebuilders. Laura made a mid-life change into professional acting in 2018 and has found that she draws often on her peacebuilding experiences to deepen her empathy and understanding for the characters she inhabits. She currently works as a professional actor in London alongside her peacebuilding work, and lives with her husband and two sons. Interviewed by Colin Pip Dixon, co-artistic director of the Elsewhere Ensemble

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