Reconciliation: Palestinian and Israeli Youth Planting Seeds of Change

Since 2012, Artolution has been organizing community-based public art projects in the ancient lands of Israel and Palestine, where diverse peoples claim the same tiny slice of our planet and have tragically been unable to resolve their conflict to this day. While politicians consistently fail to find solutions, ordinary Jews and Arabs live separate lives, often fearing and mistrusting one another, even when living in close proximity. Artolution partners with ordinary people and grassroots initiatives who are courageously striving to end the cycle of violence, hate and fear.

Through collaborative art making, Artolution seeks to plant the seeds of positive social change in the region. By creating a safe space for youth of diverse backgrounds to meet and work toward a common goal, the participants have the opportunity to experience a glimpse of what peaceful coexistence looks like. Often for the first time in their lives, Arabs and Jews get to know one another, open up a dialogue and work together in partnership. This is the first step toward combatting the dehumanization of the other that fuels the conflict.

During these projects, young people learn to humanize those whose ideology they may disagree with, and often discover that they have more in common than they thought. Through the creation of public art, participants can envision a brighter future for the Middle East. For once, the focus is on what unites instead of divides them in a process that encourages ordinary people to work toward solutions which have eluded their leaders for generations. Moving forward, Artolution will implement ongoing public art programs with youth and communities facilitated by local Palestinian and Israeli artists and educators that focus on conflict resolution, sparking dialogue and building spaces where peaceful coexistence is possible.

This work is made possible by partnerships with local schools, community centers and organizations, including the US Consulate in Jerusalem and Embassy in Tel Aviv, the Parents Circle Family Forum, the Hand in Hand School, the America House East Jerusalem, the Alyn Hospital and the Ein Dor Museum.