Abstract Strokes: Mediator as an Artist

Reality, to us is expressed through Language.  

Language impacts how we see the world and how we process Experiences.  

We experience the world as far as we have the vocabulary for it – beyond that, it seems  unreal, awe-inspiring, even aggravating.  

Therefore, artists, when they imagine, create or write, they create new realities- something  beyond what is already accepted.  

When the poets compose, they will onto the universe a reality.  

They choreograph words to present to us a world beyond the mundane. 

People are often moved to tears by works of art because that invokes emotions they have  never been felt before, and the artist does that for them.  

The artist provides them with a lens to view past the confines of the ordinary.  Art is not only a vessel for novel realities but a testament to existing, untapped ones. It is in art that the subversive potential to imagine and reckon with the other world lies! 

To my senses, dispute resolution is also a form of art. 

A dispute arises when the contending parties feel like they have a monopoly over truth or that  their story is the “reality”. 

The insistence on the “I”, narrowed perspectives, and limited fluency in communication skills  is what aggravates a disagreement to a seemingly unresolvable dispute. 

Then, a mediator, as a facilitator of communication comes along, playing the role of an artist. (S)he conjures up a new reality for the parties, one characterized by collaboration not conflict.

The mediator listens to both the parties and helps them process and express their concerns.  

Mediation is communication literacy, where parties are equipped with a renewed vocabulary  that allows them to move past their positions and succinctly lay out their interests.  

The mediator brings the parties attention to new realities by asking them to explore a world  beyond the ‘I’ and collaborate as “We”.  

(S)he helps the parties conjure up various options, vocalize them, amend them upon feedback.  Collaboration is now an achievable reality even for the most hostile, antagonized parties.  Therefore, Mediation is an art and the mediator is an artist.


Vanshika Thakur

Vanshika Thakur is a 3rd-year law student from Himachal Pradesh National Law University, located in the beautiful hill station of Shimla in North India. She has interned at CAMP Mediation and has a sincere interest in Mediation. She is multi-talented with a knack for creative writing and poetry, art and… MORE >

Featured Mediators

View all

Read these next


Self-Awareness In Mediation

Mediators are like therapists in at least one respect. They need to know what issues they can or cannot deal with when it comes to the parties involved in mediation....

By Milan Slama

ADR in Healthcare: The Last Big ADR Frontier?

Previously Published in: ACResolution, The Quarterly Magazine of the Association for Conflict Resolution, Spring 2003.Introduction You are probably saying to yourself “What a strange title.” This seems especially true when...

By Ginny Morrison, Rob Robson

Boston, Violence, and Listening

Eye on Conflict Blog by Lee Jay Berman“Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” – Stephen R. Covey We are once again in the wake of a tragedy. News...

By Lee Jay Berman

Find a Mediator