MONTHLY ROUNDTABLE BREAKFAST
The Association for Conflict Resolution
of Greater New York
The CUNY Dispute Resolution Center at John Jay College
Coffee and networking 8:00 AM.
Program begins promptly at 8:30 AM.
TOWARDS RECONCILIATION IN THE WEST BANK USING PHOTOGRAPHY
SASKIA BORY KEELEY
For the past three years,photographer Saskia Keeley has conducted photo workshops for Orthodox Jewish Israeli and Palistinian women. Though living side-by-side in the West Bank, these women, for political reasons, would otherwise have no contact. To arrange the workshops, Saskia partners with Roots, an initiative led by a Palistinian and Israeli settlers committee working at the heart of the conflict.
The purpose of these workshops is to foster an environment where women can interact with "the other" in an informal and safe setting, many for the very first time in their lives.
Bridges of empathy that help heal communities may come in many formats. In Saskia's workshops, the cameras create a human bridge. Her workshops break down barriers and foster contact as women take portraits of each other, first in exploratory, and then often intimate ways.
Bringing out the humanity of others is the essence of the workshops. Photography is a great tool to open doors. By looking through the eyes of those from whom we might feel separated, participants discover both interconnectivity and empathy. The workshops support the engagement of participants and helping them recognize parallel lives and narratives. The acknowledgment that comes from those moments can help create a new feeling of shared belonging.
Saskia describes the methodology of the photo workshops with a display of striking photos taken by the participants. The design of the photo workshops reflects Roots' efforts to foster respect for the other, a prerequisite for lasting justice, freedom and peace.
SASKIA BORY KEELEY is a Swiss photographer who partners with humanitarian organizations to share their valuable work with the world, including Leaders' Quest (India), the END Fund/Amani Global Works (Democratic Republic of the Congo), Roots and Taghyeer (West Bank) and We Love Reading (Jordan).
Saskia runs photography workshops in which participants unpack decades of hate and bias through the simple acts of looking and listening. She is exploring where these workshops can be helpful in global conversatios toward peace and within divided communities. She was educated at Geneva University, Sothebys and the New Academy for Art Studies in London. She also received training at the International Center for Photography in New York City.