New generations come into society without the detailed history and origins of their community hardwired into their consciousness. Rather, young people absorb snippets, family stories and subjective narratives from their community. In a conflict or post conflict situation it can be hard to develop an individual point of view and doubly so to develop a sense of empathy for the community on the other side of the historic conflict.
The Empathy Project aims to bring young people together from different sides of conflict in Cyprus, Northern Ireland, Ukraine and Israel to take an active role in understanding each other and the conflicts they are caught up in and together to shape a narrative to move forward. The Empathy Project will use film watching and discussion as well as collaborative documentary filmmaking to empower young people involved to help develop a model that can be used in each nation and internationally in the future.
The Empathy Project brings together highly experienced partners in the fields of youth engagement: the Future World Center (FWC) in Cyprus, Arthouse Traffic in Ukraine, the Nerve Centre in Northern Ireland and the Charles Clore Arab-Jewish Community Centre in Israel. Additionally, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) will be developing an academic paper on Innovations in conflict resolution with young people and the staging of an international Empathy Conference that will aim to evidence impact and spread the model.