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Marina Cantacuzino
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Marina Cantacuzino’s background is journalism and in 2003 –- in the lead up to the Iraq War -- she started collecting personal stories of atrocity and terrorism which drew a line under the dogma of vengeance. The stories formed a body of work in the celebrated F Word exhibition and led to Marina founding The Forgiveness Project, a UK based not-for-profit unaffiliated to any religious and political group. The Forgiveness Project explores forgiveness and reconciliation through individual real-life stories, and promotes alternatives to violence and revenge.

Entries by Marina Cantacuzino

Forgiveness in a Vengeful Age

(3) Comments | Posted February 16, 2016 | 8:36 AM

On the world's bloody stage of escalating civil war and increasingly brutal acts of terrorism, the prospect of forgiveness and reconciliation these days may seem a fanciful notion devoid of legitimacy.

Consider for instance Islamic State terrorists warning to the UK in February of a "Doomsday attack" that...

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Forgiveness -- the Oil That Heals Personal Relationships

(2) Comments | Posted December 3, 2015 | 6:27 PM

When I first founded The Forgiveness Project in 2004 as a means of collecting and sharing real stories of forgiveness I tried to avoid stories of everyday grievances, grudges and resentments. The reason was that I'd spent 15 years as a journalist specialising in so-called "human interest" stories...

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Forgiveness: Too Many Moral Absolutes?

(0) Comments | Posted July 23, 2015 | 10:47 AM

Eleven years ago I created an exhibition about forgiveness called The F Word. It was called The F Word because in the year it took to collect stories from victims and perpetrators about this compelling and complicated subject I discovered it was something that cut public opinion down...

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Why It Matters How We Talk About Forgiveness

(1) Comments | Posted March 23, 2015 | 3:08 PM

In Dubai a couple of years ago I gave a talk called Forgiveness: A Moral Minefield. In it I stated that The Forgiveness Project (the organization I founded eleven years ago) didn't want to present forgiveness with sanitized images, moral platitudes or pious sounding statements. I suggested that...

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Actors Help Inmates Develop Empathy

(1) Comments | Posted February 25, 2015 | 10:56 AM

In some small corners of the Californian correctional system something remarkable is happening. A team of actors is helping the toughest and most violent of men learn to be vulnerable. The way they learn is through adopting a unique acting technique based in the physical and improvisational style of

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Storytelling: The Most Human of Arts

(0) Comments | Posted October 9, 2014 | 3:49 PM

It has been said that the most difficult time comes after a revolution -- a sentiment born out in the tough reality of post-apartheid South Africa. At a conference in Bloemfontein that set out to examine issues of freedom, responsibility and reconciliation, a young black South African man...

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Beyond Forgiving: Two South Africans Share Their Story of Healing

(0) Comments | Posted May 6, 2014 | 9:29 AM

What is it that so inspires us about former enemies coming together in a spirit of peace and reconciliation? Retaliation may be our default position, and yet frequently we find that conflict resolved through compassion motivates and encourages us far more than conflict resolved through revenge.

Take for example...

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Why Rwanda Needs Healing Narratives

(1) Comments | Posted April 5, 2014 | 11:52 AM

This April Rwandans will remember the 20th anniversary of a genocide the world did nothing to stop. Two years ago when I was in Rwanda I met a man who had lost almost his entire family in the killing spree. He warned me that critical to the future of his...

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Beyond Right and Wrong: How a Film Became a Peaceful Revolution

(0) Comments | Posted February 18, 2014 | 3:14 PM

Beyond Right and Wrong: Stories of Justice and Forgiveness is a film that needs to be seen, and now, thanks to an inventive distribution method, which promotes the film at the same pace as raising money for worthy nonprofits, it is getting the global reach it deserves.

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From Death Row to Restorative Justice

(12) Comments | Posted November 29, 2013 | 11:29 AM

Restorative justice is a system that fundamentally views crime as injury rather than wrong-doing, and justice as healing rather than punishment. Whilst visiting New York, Minneapolis, Hawaii and Texas (thanks to receiving a Winston Churchill travelling fellowship) I've uncovered some remarkable US-based programs that bear this...

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The Legacy of Canada's 'Cultural Genocide'

(1) Comments | Posted November 18, 2013 | 2:15 PM

Stan LaPierre points to the chair I'm sitting on. "That," he says "is where hundreds of aboriginal youth in custody sit and tell me their secrets." He strongly believes that disclosing the pain of the past to someone you trust is healing. LaPierre is a traditional elder and Co-ordinator of...

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Forgiveness: Where the Wounds Are, the Gift Lies

(1) Comments | Posted September 25, 2013 | 6:33 PM

The concept of forgiveness can easily stray into the polemic. Since working in this field, I have tried to bypass pious-sounding statements about the power of forgiveness. I don't want to express it in a sanitized or spiritualized way, or as some magical key to serenity, or as any kind...

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Making Sense of Evil

(0) Comments | Posted May 9, 2012 | 5:38 AM

This week sees the publication of an outstanding and beautifully crafted redemptive memoir by Marian Partington, whose sister was murdered by two of Britain's most notorious serial killers - Frederick and Rosemary West.

Since founding The Forgiveness Project some eight years ago I...

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Forgiving the Unforgivable

(1) Comments | Posted April 25, 2012 | 10:57 AM

"Mumbai did not leave deep scars; it healed deep wounds," writes Master Charles Cannon in Forgiving the Unforgivable, the true story of how he and his 24 associates from the Synchronicity Foundation for Modern Spirituality responded to terror when they were caught up in...

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Forgiveness: Finding the Gift in the Wound

(4) Comments | Posted February 29, 2012 | 8:02 AM

Last week I had the privilege to hear an exceptionally powerful talk by Azim Khamisa -- a father who lost his only son to gang violence 17 years ago. It is a terrible irony that Azim left Kenya trying to escape the violence of Idi Amin only to...

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No Forgiveness Without Justice?

(1) Comments | Posted October 11, 2011 | 8:00 AM

Justice, like forgiveness, is a loaded word, bandied about by just about everyone - used as much by advocates for penal reform as by those who call for the death penalty. The Forgiveness Project's 2011 annual lecture was bound therefore to cause robust discussion when Clare...

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The Victims of Terrorism Who Do Not Seek Revenge

(1) Comments | Posted September 11, 2011 | 3:33 PM

How is it possible to feel the humanity of a person who has systematically and brutally maimed or murdered innocent people for the sake of an ideology?

In 2005 I met Andrew Rice, whose brother was killed in the attack on the World Trade Center in 2001. Andrew...

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Google Starts a Dialogue with Former Violent Extremists

(1) Comments | Posted July 7, 2011 | 1:54 PM

For three days at the end of June, Google Ideas did something risky, brave and potentially world-shaking. They brought together former extremists from all over the globe -- from the neo-Nazi youths of Milwaukee to the radical Islamists of Tower Hamlets -- and, in a spirit of inquiry, asked the...

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Can Forgiveness Overcome Cancer?

(4) Comments | Posted June 13, 2011 | 1:35 PM

I have been troubled lately by the title of a new book called, The Forgiveness Project: The Startling Discovery of How to Overcome Cancer, Find Health, and Achieve Peace, by Rev. Dr Michael S. Barry.
It's not simply that the book borrows the same name...

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Empathy That Withers Away

(1) Comments | Posted May 25, 2011 | 1:25 PM

Watching CCTV footage of 15-year-old Santre Sanchez Gayle carrying a shotgun and turning up at the door of 26-year-old Gulistan Subasi and shooting her dead, is deeply disturbing. Little wonder that Gayle was this week sentenced to serve at least 20 years for her murder. Judge Stephen Kramer...

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