As events in Israel and Palestine unfolded in the immediate days after the Hamas-led attacks on Israel, global debate about the actions, the response and the reasons why it had happened, opened up.
But in some ways that debate also shut down. “I think at the moment there’s a lack of breadth and depth and realism in political debate in the UK,” former UK ambassador to Egypt, John Casson, said on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme in October. “It reminds me of being in Washington in 2003 when we were preparing to go to war in Iraq and anyone who talked about the need for comprehensive policy was vilified.”
Over the last nine months, we’ve been working with Finland-based equality, diversity and inclusion-focused agency ATÁA. In response to the war in Palestine that followed the 7 October attacks, the team there worked with partners to gather together conversations, music and inspiration from the Palestinian and Israeli diaspora in Finland, along with historic recordings for a six-hour IDA RAADIO audio stream.
This first aired on websites across Europe, the US and UK during the weekend of the 4-5 November.
The collaboration with NO NIIN Magazine, Kairos Collective, Pali Voices of Finland and Sumud, was looking to go deeper into the perspectives, questions and feelings around the conflict and its impact, exploring the colonialism, imperialism and market forces that are at play in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and that are often missing in the daily news flow and narrow debate that can emerge in times of conflict.
“It is not against us as Jews. This is very important for me to state,” said Finland-based illustraotor Tzor Edery in one conversation. “I do think Palestinian liberation and Jewish liberation are tied together – the historical circumstance that brought us here. And we have to be united in this.”
Bringing together art, history, social commentary, music and writing, including the poetry of Mahmoud Darwish and readings from contemporary poetry and essays – the stream shows how art and collaboration are powerful ways to open thinking, find new perspectives and remember that in this information-full world it’s not always easy to know what people are thinking or feeling, or what lies beneath the events unfolding on our screens.
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