Projects for Peace: The Vision of Kathryn W. Davis

"My challenge to you is to bring about a mind-set of preparing for peace, instead of preparing for war."

Music for Conflict Resolution Symposium

Project #
Whitman College
  • Alex Brott
  • Lian Caspi

Music for Conflict Resolution Symposium

Lian and Alex envisioned a symposium in Jerusalem that would bring together the many individuals and organizations using music as a tool of conflict resolution between Israelis and Palestinians. The intention was to encourage these disparate entities to network, share resources and tools and collaborate. First they immersed themselves in the local musical community, to learn from this interaction how best to put their idea into practice and to foster ownership by the desired participants.

The International YMCA, considered a neutral space, was chosen for the venue, and the symposium, reported Lian and Alex, “went off without a hitch”. The event included workshops about effective facilitation, language and the connective power of musical improvisation; a panel discussion from five leaders in the field about the varying philosophies, politics and tools employed in this work; and an evening of performances from several musical groups linked to these organizations. Among those featured were: Heartbeat, The Jerusalem Youth Chorus, Musaique, Ukeleles for Peace, Seeds of Peace and the Interfaith Encounter Association.

As they reflected on their project, Lian and Alex shared their philosophic belief that contact is necessary to humanize the other, to find a mutually workable approach and to explore ways to live together in the future. They saw their project as a catalyst for greater and expanding grassroots work in seeking resolution
to conflict.