Dame Anita Roddick
As our founding patron, Dame Anita Roddick, said before her untimely death in 2007, ‘I have spoken passionately about how I’ve been moved and inspired by The Forgiveness Project, and its challenging exploration – and celebration – of amazing personal stories of reconciliation and renewal from around the world. The F Word exhibition is truly an education of the human spirit.’
“I became aware of your organisation on Friday night when I went to see The Long Road at the Soho Theatre. We too have suffered violent loss in our family. I have since looked at your website and found it very inspiring. Your organisation is so important. We are not a religious family and forgiveness need not come from faith. The Forgiveness Project is the first organisation I have come across which talks about forgiveness from a non-religious point of view.”
“Desmond Tutu’s advocacy of truth and reconciliation is the best example of forgiveness in politics. Non-violence forgives the enemy you are in the process of defeating.”
Katherine Hamnett, clothes designer
“Attrition is interminable. The people in this exhibition are awesome, they’ve been able to forgive while we’re still balking over trifles.
Helen Mirren, actress
“I give my wholehearted support to this project. How wonderful it is that there is a need and a working towards something positive, peaceful, regenerative – a great inspiration.”
Emma Thompson, actress
“I have spent time with people in Chile and in Argentina whose families were murdered and tortured during the troubled histories of these countries. I have never heard a single person there desire revenge. Without forgiveness we continue in cycles of destruction and violence. It is the most powerful weapon we have against terrorism and atrocity.”
“The testimonials in this project have taught me a great deal about forgiveness, which I think I thought was something rather easier than it is. They make me weep and they make me really think about what it is to forgive and what it is to try and understand someone instead of demonising them. I think this is probably one of the most important projects in the world today and I hope people will feel able to support it.”
Terry Waite CBE
“A part of the key to entering into forgiveness is understanding. If one can understand why people behave as they do then often the road to forgiveness is opened. Not only is forgiveness essential for the health of society, it is also vital for our personal well-being. Bitterness is like a cancer that enters the soul. It does more harm to those that hold it than to those whom it is held against.”
Annie Lennox, singer, songwriter and activist
“In being open to the possibility of understanding and forgiveness, we can perhaps begin to make our first shaky steps towards healing and growth. I think forgiveness is a radical concept: not easy, but potentially miraculous.”
Linus Roache, actor
“Forgiveness is crucial to the healing process and it points to an uncynical way of being that has nothing to do with naiveté and everything to do with taking responsibility for our development as human beings.”
Rt Hon the Lord Woolf
“I have been very impressed by the work of The Forgiveness Project. Their exhibition, The F word: Images of Forgiveness, has brought to widespread public attention the advantages of restorative programmes within the criminal justice system. I wholeheartedly support this new organisation in their endeavours to research, develop, pilot and implement an innovative in-prison programme exploring issues around forgiveness and rehabilitation. Such restorative justice programmes can dramatically help to reduce recidivism among young offenders.”
Archbishop Desmond Tutu
“The Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which I had the privilege to chair, has had an impact on post-conflict situations worldwide that we could never have foreseen when we began that process in 1996. Since then words such as ‘reconciliation’ and ‘forgiveness’ have been taken from their more spiritual contexts to become common currency in secular and political conversation.”
It is as though the world had come to a dead end in finding solutions to resolve intractable problems. The people who came to the Commission to tell their stories have shifted the log jam and created new possibilities.
The F Word confronts us with images of perpetrators and victims – together. They are deeply moving and shocking as they speak to us of our own prejudices and brokeness in the face of such magnanimity. This exhibition is a powerful contribution to the understanding that all of us, given certain circumstances, are capable of the most ghastly atrocities, and equally, that all of us have the capacity to rise to a generosity of spirit that can transform the world.
I am delighted to endorse Marina Cantacuzino and The Forgiveness Project’s work and thank them for showing us that true greatness is found in humility and compassion.
I encourage you to support the Forgiveness Project enthusiastically.
Lord Stone of Blackheath
“Since visiting The Forgiveness Project’s unique and seminal exhibition in January 2004 and as a result of being moved and transformed by it, I have had remarkable conversations with people involved in conflict resolution and penal reform, in this country, from South Africa, Northern Ireland and the Middle East. Your exhibition and the people I met and spoke to there have helped me to be more convinced of the enormously beneficial process of forgiveness.