A voice of witness and awakening
Siem Reap, Cambodia
â€œI stand before you To bear witness And give voice To that which awakens In the world And in each one of us.â€œ - Rama Mani
Muzaffarnagar refugee camp, India
About Rama Mani
Rama’s dream, since her childhood in India, was to wield the power and beauty of words to transform the world. In 2000, while undertaking a peace mission in war-torn Somalia, Rama rediscovered art’s ability to transform conflict and renew broken societies. Ever since, she has woven poetry and artistry into her public appearances to electrify and energize audiences in all parts of the world. Whether speaking to huge crowds or intimate gatherings, Rama leaves no one unaffected. She embodies the suffering and strength of life’s survivors. She evokes the imagination to dream and build the impossible. She emboldens the urge to renew our lives and societies. She takes her audiences on a journey of discovery, and inspires them to become active participants in its unfolding. Rama’s public performances, peace missions and philanthropy are informed by her 25 years of experience as a visionary and strategic actor in peace and security. She has lived and worked in countries
in crisis on all continents. Rama is a Councilor of the World Future Council, a body of eminent personalities committed to safeguarding the future. She is a Senior Research Associate at the University of Oxford’s Centre for International Studies. Rama was earlier the Executive Director of the International Centre for Ethnic Studies in Colombo, Sri Lanka. She was the Director of the Global Peace and Security Course for senior government officials at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy. As Africa Strategy Manager for Oxfam (GB) she worked across the continent with local actors and policy makers to shape a new response to Africa’s humanitarian crises. She was also the Senior External Relations Officer for the Commission on Global Governance. She authored Beyond Retribution: Seeking Justice in the Shadows of War (Polity/ Blackwell: 2002/2007) and co-edited Responsibility to Protect: Cultural Perspectives from the Global South (Routledge: 2011). Rama serves on the Academic Advisory Board of the NATO Defense College. She is a Director of the Board of the Academic
Council on the United Nations System, the UNESCO-CISH International Centre for Human Sciences (Lebanon) and of the Foundation for the Future (Jordan), promoting civic and democratic space across the Middle East. She is the CoFounder of ‘Rising Women, Rising World’, a nascent global movement of women with visionary strategies for transformation. She supports innovative grassroots movements for peace, justice and healing in Asia and Africa. Rama has a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Cambridge, an M.A. in International Affairs from Johns Hopkins University and a B.A. in Politics and French Literature from Bryn Mawr College, USA. She is a French national and an Overseas Citizen of India. In 2013, the University of Marburg awarded Rama the Peter Becker Peace Prize, the most valuable award in peace and conflict studies in Germany, for the combined impact of her scholarship and engagement in peace activism.
“The poetic way that Rama weaves her gifts for us all is so beautiful. She has given so much to others over the years. She brings her soul and spirit to all of her actions for humanity.” -Pauline Tangiora (Aotearoa/New Zealand), Maori Elder, Councillor of the World Future Council.
“A true model for the rise of feminine energy, Rama’s presence and grace are the high activism we need to face our evolutionary crisis.” - Prof. Ashok Gangadean (Trinidad/USA), Founder of the Global Dialogue Institute.
“Rama Mani, a true global citizen, inspires greatly with her immense knowledge and wisdom. With her dedication, ethics and outstanding personality she brings courage and hope for the future.” - Helen Eriksen (Denmark), Founder & CEO of BEYOND.
Guediawaye slum, Senegal
Children in Kabul, Afghanistan
Rama has been called “A cosmic agent of awakening”, “an evocateur of the possible future”, and “a catalyst of transformation”. Her embodied performances and active recitals invite renewed reflection on humanity’s burning issues. Through her presence, audiences become eager participants in rewriting the stories of their lives and reshaping our common future.
“Rama Mani takes us back to the origins of theatre, when storytelling and epic poetry was a divine connection to the spirit world, a way of articulating our inner life and mythology.”
“When Rama speaks, a part of the universe becomes conscious of itself. People see and hear their own souls. Rama is the performance artist of the spirit.”
- Chipo Chung (Zimbabwe) international stage and screen actress, Co-Founder of SAFE: Sponsored Arts for Education in Kenya.
Jean Houston, Ph.D. (USA), Founder of Social Artistry, Chancellor of Meridian University.
PERFORMANCES 1. enLIVEning Public Performances: Offered in public spaces, festivals, concert halls, museums and galleries. Rama’s embodied performances electrify and energize large and diverse audiences, on a variety of topics that speak directly to our lives. 2. Art of Transformation Seminars and Workshops: Rama offers seminars and workshops for institutions and individuals engaged in future planning, strategic change and crisis management. She catalyzes transformation within organizations by blending her expertise in integral strategic thinking with the transformative power of creativity.
3. Invigorating Keynotes: Rama tailors her recitals & keynote speeches to the specific themes of international, corporate and professional gatherings, conferences and symposia. Her evocative keynotes evoke vivifying discussion among participants, and invigorate far-sighted thinking within organizations. 4. Ateliers of Awakening: Rama offers creative workshops for communities and individuals facing violent conflict or trauma, drawing on her experiences of working in conflict and postconflict situations. She creates safe, sacred, aesthetic spaces for creative expression, and helps participants forge pathways towards healing, integration and peace.
Performances are designed specially for each event and tailored to the audience’s needs. Recitals are atmospheric, evocative and dynamic, and engage participants in deep dialogue.
“Rama Mani’s poetry reminds us that the power of culture, of ideas, of the human spirit, lasts longer than buildings or the bombs that may destroy them.” - William Kelly (Australia) Humanist Artist, Laureate of Peace Abbey’s ‘Courage of Conscience’ Award.
Words to Awaken the World Chronicles of Crisis: Rama accepts invitations and initiates fact-finding and reconciliation missions to war zones and crisis areas to chronicle survivors’ stories and support affected communities. In December 2013, she visited Palestine with former Minister of Women’s Affairs, Zahira Kamal, and in January 2014, she visited refugee camps and villages ravaged by Hindu-Muslim riots in Muzzaffarnagar, India, together with peace activist Swami Agnivesh. She will travel to Senegal to meet with women victims of violence, to Turkey to meet Syrian refugees, and return to Israel and Palestine in 2014.
Words to Awaken the World The proceeds from the performances provide pro bono and material support to inspiring initiatives in which Rama is personally engaged: 1. Bonded Labour Liberation Movement: Founded by interfaith peace activist, Swami Agnivesh, India www.swamiagnivesh.com/aboutbmm.htm 2. La Maison Rose Dar as Salam: Shelter for battered women, founded by Mona Chasserio, Dakar, Senegal www.lamaisonrose.org 3. Rising Women Rising World: A global initiative of women to create a world that values the feminine and works for all.
For more information on these and other courageous movements for peace and justice, visit www.trans4mationagents.org.
“Rama relates her real-world experiences in a way that engages and captivates. She connects on a deep personal level with her audiences, and leaves them not only astounded, but also elevated and wiser.” - Swami Agnivesh (India) Winner of the Alternative Nobel Peace Prize and the Anti Slavery International Award
“I am grateful to Rama for the many inspirations she has given me on the different occasions I have heard her address diverse subjects in our encounters around the world. Every appearance of Rama was an extraordinary gift, for the deep content of her statements and for her lively presentation.” – Dr. Cornelio Sommaruga (Switzerland), former President of the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Kigali-Butare Highway, Rwanda
Rama’s performances and seminars draw on an evolving repertoire of themes she is passionate about, committed to, and has direct experience and expertise in. Recitals may focus on a single subject, or combine several themes according to the interests of each audience. 1. The Poiesis of War and Peace Poems on the Roots of War and the Seeds of Peace
4. From HIStory to OURstory The New Story of Women and Men, Changing the Gender Paradigm Together
2. She Rises! Women’s Stories of Suffering and Strength from Conflict and Crisis Zones Around the World
5. heARTistry The Art of Transformation, and The Transformative Power of Art
3. SHAKTI Speaks 3. Heroines’ Journeys and Legends of Goddesses from Past tand Present
6. Re-Originating The Pathways of Being and Becoming: Whispers of Ancient and Nascent Wisdom 7. OURtopia Co-Creating Tomorrow Together Today
We are women Who have walked the Earth We’ve savored her fruits And stumbled on her rocks We’ve struggled But found Our way. Alone and together We’ve emerged from hardship Lighter, and more connected. And today We’ve gathered here, We women of unbreakable iron Resilient as bamboo Fragrant as nenuphars, To shape the future In the image of our dreams. Don’t tell us we are naïve and not Pragmatic! Who was it that saved the seeds In the great flood That we might eat in times of drought? Who was it that mid-wifed births In snow and sandstorms, checkpoints, battlefields, With anguish, but never a fuss? Our intention steels us.
This world we envision Stirs in our womb Itches under our feet And bursts with crystalline clarity From our lips. This is no Utopia or Fairyland: We feel, touch, hear, smell it We WANT it As our childrenâ€™s birthright. As the only sensible way forward Is to listen to our heartbeat And heed the call of Spirit The wisdom of the Ancients The pulse of the Nascent That beats steadily in our veins. We are here to co-create Ourtopia With you, our brothers, fathers, friends. And nothing can stop us.
The Wall, Bethlehem, Palestine
- Zahira Kamal (Palestine), former Minister for Women’s Affairs of the Palestinian Authority.
“Whatever the occasion, Rama fills the room with a passionate intensity that transforms the audience. A truly Godgiven gift which makes her presence unforgettable.” - Deshamanya Bradman Weerakoon (Sri Lanka), peace negotiator, Presidential Advisor and former Chef de Cabinet to seven Prime Ministers.
To connect with Rama Mani please contact our Director of Development at: firstname.lastname@example.org www.rama-mani.com facebook.com/RamaManiNews
“When Dr Rama Mani speaks not only do people listen, they also immediately understand the relevance and the importance of what she is saying. She has a rare gift and it is one that should be treasured.” - Brig. Gen. Gerd Bischof (Germany) Academic and Policy Director, NATO Defense College.
© 2014 Rama Mani. Designed by WolfeStudios, Photos by Rama Mani.
“Rama has devoted her life to enhance peace and support people in conflicts. She captures the hearts of everyone she meets, and interacts with new audiences as if she has known them for a long time.”
A voice of witness and awakening.