For decades, the Israeli and Palestinian people have been caught up in and divided
by a violent conflict that has cost thousands of lives and caused ongoing suffering on
both sides. The conflict is manifest in profoundly hostile inter-group relations and a
kilometre-long separation wall that physically divides the two peoples. This project
provides one possible response to how the mutually reinforcing mental
and physical walls separating the two peoples in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict may
be overcome. Responding to the call by peacebuilding scholars and practitioners to
increase peacebuilding efforts at the grassroots level in order to transform the
relationship between Israelis and Palestinians, this work draws upon and sets into
dialogue theories on peacebuilding, identity, empathy, the medium film and virtual
reality technology. Building on this theoretical framework, People2People proposes a
concept for a peacebuilding tool that allows for a virtual encounter between Israelis
and Palestinians that may facilitate a transformation of the relationship between the
two adversarial groups and thus instigate social change towards peace. The aim of this
endeavour is to create a virtual non-confrontational space within which the two
sides can meet the respective other side, immerse themselves in the other side’s
narrative and lived experience, whilst reflecting on their own.
The conceptualisation and production of People2People was developed within the
framework of Fabian Vetter's masters dissertation in the MA Media, Campaigning and Social Change at University of Westminster.
Whilst this project does not propose to offer the ultimate solution for solving this conflict, it provides one mosaic stone that is situated within local-level peace-building efforts that may help facilitate the creation of peace between the two peoples at the grassroots level.
Download an excerpt of Fabian's master's dissertation for further information