Struggling with Peace - February 2013

Struggling with Peace was a special symposium organized by Peace it Together, held in Vancouver February 27-28, 2013. The symposium was the initiative of the Canadian delegation of Peace it Together’s 2011 dialogue and filmmaking program. They, along with Peace it Together staff and volunteers, designed and implemented the three public events that comprised this two-day event. The youth led Peace it Together in generating the questions and issues that were explored throughout the symposium.

Featured guests at Struggling with Peace included:

  • Sulaiman Khatib – Co-founder of Combatants for Peace, the People’s Peace Fund
    Ramallah, West Bank
  • Rutie Atsmon – Co-founder and Director of Windows: Channels for Communication
    Tel Aviv-Jaffa
  • Mahmoud Jabari – Participant of Peace it Together (2008), and Seeds of Peace programming
  • Yael Tsabari – Program Co-coordinator of the Gemini Project at Sadaka Reut
    Tel Aviv-Jaffa

These peace builders were chosen because as part of being self-reflexive about their work, they find value in engaging with and learning from critiques head-on in order to create impactful programs that incorporate both dialogue and meaningful action for change. Peace it Together brought them to Vancouver because we believe they are at the forefront of the next generation of peace work. Peace it Together values their insights into how peace building activities can have a significant and sustainable impact on the ground.

The question of how to effectively, ethically and impactful coordinate dialogue and action amongst Palestinians and Israelis was running theme throughout the entire symposium, which featured three public events:

A Critical Junction: New directions in peace building was a frank and sincere panel discussion featuring people-to-people peace building practitioners and advocates (one of which was a Peace it Together program alumnus). Facilitated by a skilled Peace it Together moderator, panelists explored issues related to the critique that such programs “normalize” the conflict and in particular, the oppression of Palestinians.

An interactive workshop was offered in TRACTION: Propelling dialogue into action. In this event guests from Palestine and Israel led participants in hands-on activities that allowed them to explore ways in which they might take action related to building peace in the region. 

ART:WORK - Art and media in the pursuit of peace was a expressive evening of art and media. In this creative space, stories related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict were explored using imagery, artistic reflection, and improv theatre.