TFF turns 31: Flashbacks and vision

By Jan Oberg

It’s 31 years today – September 12 – that Christina Spännar and I founded TFF and gathered experts and friends from many walks of life and world corners and set out to make a difference.

1985 were in the midst of European peace and anti-nuclear activities and a moment of history when one could begin to feel the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact cracking, fragmenting and giving way to something new.

Whatever survives this long under very very difficult circumstances of independence and freedom in our world must have some qualities.

During these more than three decades, we’ve been witnesses to world history in international affairs such as the end of the first Cold War with the fall of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact, the dissolution of Yugoslavia, the genocide in Burundi and Rwanda, NATOs expansion as well as 9/11, the War On Terror and – sadly – all the failed wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria to just mention a few.

But we have also seen the world order change, the trend towards a multipolar world, the betterment after the end of formal colonialism, people living longer and better, the rise of non-Western powers, the good sides of globalisation and modern communication technology etc.

We’ve done research – everything we do is research-based – public education, academic courses, mediation in major conflicts such as Kosovo and a lot of outreach: Social media, videos, media commentaries etc. And we still remember how we sent out newsletter that we had typed on thin stencils and manifolded on a stencil printer, the pages sorted and put into envelopes with address labels. The kids in our street helped us and got some good food (or child labour!) and we could do 1100 in one day in the basement and bring them to the post office the next. Then came the fax machine…

Those were the days.

Today about 10.000 people all over the world get TFF PressInfo several times a month; while it does take a couple of hours to edit and format, they go out in one batch within a couple of minutes at the click of a button. And we are later told who and how many have opened them or clicked on their links!

TFF was among the first academic institutions to actively use the Internet, Read More »

Obituary – Dietrich Fischer 1941-2015

By Christina Spännar & Jan Oberg

Our dear friend and TFF Associate since 1985, professor Dietrich Fischer, died today, October 18, 2015.

We met Dietrich through another dear friend Johan Galtung and, together with then West German lieutenant-colonel Wilhelm Nolte, Dietrich became the first scholar-in-residence at TFF in Lund in 1986. That lead to Fischer, Nolte and Oberg’s “Winning Peace. Strategies and Ethics for A Nuclear-Free World published in 1989.”

The two scholars came and worked for periods at TFF, went back home to re-write and then back to Lund – no emails and Dropbox at the time. We met, worked, ate, drank, did excursions and played with our children together. That’s how we did it.

And here’s the local newspaper from January 8, 1986:

Wilhelm Nolte, Jan Oberg and Dietrich Fischer

Dietrich was a genius in defensive defence thinking, Read More »

TFF 30th Anniversary Benefit Event

Lund, Sweden, September 5, 2015
Updated September 5 and our apologies if you’ve received this before.
We want to catch all and miss no one over all these years.

Dear friend!

We are happy to invite you to the TFF 30th Anniversary Benefit Event !
September 11-12, 2015

Live Lectures by videostream
Exciting lectures on world affairs and peace over two days – See program below.

This is not an invitation to visit the foundation in person.
It is an online, live video streamed event that you will be able to follow from anywhere in the world
Here is the link and it’ll also be shown via Facebook, Twitter and on our website.
And all the lectures will be available later as videos on our own video channels.

Open House at the foundation
Saturday September 12 at 14:00-17:00
It’s at Vegagatan 25 in Lund, Sweden – deadline for your registration September 7.

1. Lectures on-site with live streaming

We’ll shortly tell you the links where you may see it all and where videos will later be available.

Lecture program

Friday September 11

Live, video streamed:

September 11: Alternatives to the devastating War On Terror – Jan Oberg

TFF 30 Perspectives – TFF Associates and Board on the better world we dream of – And cheers!

Saturday September 12

Live, video-streamed 10:00-18:00

Iran And the Nuclear Issues – Gunnar Westberg

Integration – Why and how? Example: Afghan Youth In Sweden – Christina Spännar, Sweden

Nuclear abolition is necessary and possible – Gunnar Westberg, Sweden

West and East: Ukraine and New Cold War? – Jan Oberg

Human Rights And War Crimes – Jonathan Power, UK/Sweden

Women, Self-Esteem and Violence – Annette Schiffmann, Germany

Yugoslavia – What Should Have Been Done? – Jan Oberg (in Memoriam Håkan Wiberg), DK/Sweden

Media and Peace – Sören Sommelius, Sweden

Burundi’s Crisis And Possible Ways Out – Burundi expert

2. Open House hours 14-17
Buffet, drinks, coffee and tea, cakes and other sweets.
You must register your visit by September 7 at the latest at or call 0046 738 525200.

3. Peace with peaceful means
The day is devoted to the – ongoing – struggle for ”peace by peaceful means“ as the UN Charter puts it. Gandhi said that the “means are goals in-the-making”. To realize that noble goal remains the mission of TFF. Today we show you how and promote all related activites with the help of social media and new video technologies.

4. This is a Benefit Event – Your support to TFF please!

TFF is unique in being totally independent of government and corporate funds. It’s people-financed. No one related to TFF has a salary; we’re all-volunteer.
This provides for truly free research and permit us to be critical and constructive and practise our freedom of expression. Not everyone can boast that today!
Wars, nuclear and conventional arms, bombing raids and occupations etc. are financed by your tax money. Sadly and unfairly, no tax funds go to realise the UN norm above.

We think that people who believe that peace is better than violence should also pay something to the research, education and activism in favour of that UN norm.
If you can come to Lund on our big day or sit somewhere following our rich lecture program, we urge you strongly to make a donation. Every day over 30 years, TFF has given the world something useful.

You can do it right in the middle of our homepage – click the “Give” button or under the headline “Support” in the right-hand column where many options exist, including PayPal. It easy, fast and secure!
Cash – but no cheques – can also be donated at the event.* *

Thank you so much!

5. Videos
We’re proud to present the first two short videos – 3 more to come – in which the founders talk about various aspects of 30 years in the service of peace on the basis of questions asked by board member Annette Schiffmann. Watch, comment and subscribe!

The First

The Second

6. Brand new Online Magazine
The announced online magazine launched to mark our Anniversary is now here!

“Transnational Affairs – TFF Magazine for conflict-resolution, non-violence and peace-building”

Excited as we are, we’ll be back to you soon with more details!

Yours truly

Christina & Jan

* If you are able to come in person, you must register to or call 0046 738 525200 by Tuesday September 8 at the latest.

* * This does not apply to you if you have already made a donation in 2015.

Som broar över mörka vatten – ett integrationsprojekt

Av Christina Spännar & Vibeke Bing

Kanske du associerar TFF med Jugoslavien, Burundi, Irak, Iran, ickevåld och fredsdebatt? Men vi har i tre år också arbetat med frågor kring integration med tonvikten lagd på ensamkommande barn från Afghanistan. Insatsen här har letts av författarna av denna projektsammanfattning.

Vi är stolta över att nu publicera bloggen Som Broar Över Mörka Vatten där allt material finns. Projektet har finansierats av Arvsfonden.

“När vi åkte gummibåt över Turkiets hav till Samos i Grekland greps vi av Grekiska poliser. Poliserna kastade alla våra kläder i havet och gjorde små hål i vår båt.” Ali

“På kvällen satt vi i en båt. Vi åkte till Grekland. På vägen till Grekland fick vi problem med båten. En polisbåt kom och klippte sönder en del av motorn. Vi paddlade med händerna och fyra åror.” Hassan

Vi lever i en märklig tid. Framför våra ögon pågår en stor migrationsvåg av ensamma barn. Något liknande har inte hänt sedan de finska vinterkrigsbarnen kom till Sverige på 40-talet.

De barn, som utan föräldrar, nu flytt hit undan krigets fasor har gjort en annan resa. De kommer från länder vi inte vet mycket om. Vilka är dessa barn och ungdomar, vad tänker de på och hur är livet i Sverige? Vi har lärt känna och lyssnat till några av dem. De är alla från Afghanistan.

Hur deras berättelser kommit till och vad de har att säga kan man läsa i denna rapport, som summerar tre års projektarbete. Här kan man också få veta hur vi sökt arbetsformer som kan underlätta den svåra etableringsfasen.

Vid öppnandet av en utställning

Vi berör också det komplicerade i att återförenas som familj.

Vi vänder oss till alla som arbetar med barn, ungdomar och föräldrar. Men också till alla som är nyfikna på vad som sker i vår samtid.
Känns läsningen tung – bläddra vidare till pojkarnas berättelser och det öppnas en ny värld.

En av de unga sammanfattar vår tid tillsammans såhär:

– “Jag har fått hjälp, ni har fått hjälp, vi hade kul!”

Det är bara att instämma!

Vibeke Bing
Projektledare, folkhälsovetare

Christina Spännar
Projektledare, sociolog

Sammanfattning av projektet

Som broar över mörka vatten – ett integrationsprojekt har haft som övergripande syfte att stärka människor i övergångsskeden i livet. Målgrupper har varit nyblivna föräldrar, ensamkommande flyktingbarn/ungdomar samt föräldrar som kommit till Sverige som flyktingar eller som anhöriginvandrare till ensamkommande flyktingbarn och ungdomar.

De övergångsskeden som stått i fokus är att bli förälder och att migrera. I det senare fallet handlar det om att bryta upp från ett socialt sammanhang och finna sig till rätta i ett nytt. I migrationsprocessen ingår ofta också att återförenas som familj efter år av splittring.

Projektet kan liknas vid ett träd, Read More »