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SMITHERS TALKS: Registration opens for Smithers dialogue opportunity

The project seeks to bring together ‘political opposites’ to find some common ground
A pair of politically diverse individuals talk during a “Germany Talks” event. (ZEIT ONLINE photo)

The Interior News has teamed up with an aspiring Smithers filmmaker and the international project My Country Talks to bring residents of the Bulkley Valley a unique opportunity to communicate with others who hold differing political and social views.

Dubbed “Smithers Talks,” potential participants are invited to fill out a simple survey designed to pair them with another individual, who they may then choose to actually meet with and have a discussion.

Until the participants actually decide they want to talk the process is completely anonymous.

It is entirely up to the individual pairs how they want to conduct their conversation whether in person, via phone or video, or email.

There will also be an opportunity to bring their conversations to a community event Nov. 12 at the Town Hall from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Potential participants are encouraged to fill out the survey and register below.

The Smithers Talks project was the brainchild of university student Madeleine Ghatavi, who, having seen the division in the community over the past couple of years, wanted to do something to help promote some healing.

She also intends to make a short film about the project for her school program.

The My Country Talks concept was originally initiated as “Germany Talks” by the German newspaper ZEIT ONLINE to try to bring Germans together.

Since 2017, it has spread around the world with more than 250,000 people having participated in dialogue events.

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Thom Barker

About the Author: Thom Barker

After graduating with a geology degree from Carleton University and taking a detour through the high tech business, Thom started his journalism career as a fact-checker for a magazine in Ottawa in 2002.
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