was a success!
High School students from Israel, Palestine and the rest of the world come together for three exciting days of conference in the campus of EMIS - Hakfar Hayarok, Israel
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Borders are all around us, whether they are internal or external, mental or physical, they shape our common reality. We aim for the conference to be a personal and a group journey which would challenge us to question the roles and influence of borders on different spheres of our life and would set us towards crossing borders.
What is the Journey of Crossing borders about?
Personal borders & identity
Borders & society
BORDERS & CONFLICT
BORDERS & ACTION
How will we cross borders?
The conference was divided into four main blocks, addressing different spheres in which we encounter borders. It is designed as a gradual journey, developing from the personal to the social and national, to allow a genuine exploration of the notion of borders and their influence on us as individuals and as a society.
Borders and personal identity
Each and every one of us has their own unique self-identity. Personal identity is perhaps the initial and most obscure border we face on a daily basis. As such, it is the first step of our 'crossing borders' journey.
Our self-identity is shaped by many factors, personal experience, culture and gender to name a few. Through exploration of our self-identity, its components and the borders within it, we hope to question the notion of personal identity as a creator of borders and the notion of borders as a creator of personal identity.
Questions: How do we shape our identity? Are we born with an identity? Can we change our identity? Do we need borders to create and safeguard our identity? Do we create our own borders in order to limit us and how do we cross them? Is identity itself a border?
Borders and society
After grasping a better understanding of the borders within us, we aim at exploring the, borders between us which are not physically or nationally defined. This would allow us to expand the circle to examine human interaction in the public sphere, be it on the personal or the social level.
We will be looking into current issues and concepts such as inclusion and exclusion, media representation and bias, identity politics and others. We hope to acquire a better understanding of the role and influence of borders on our social interactions, the factors that shape them, the ways we can cross them and the reasons for which we should (or should not) cross them.
Questions: Which borders influence humans interaction with one another? What is the influence of factors such as economy, media, language, gender and education in creating or crossing these borders? Do media create or eliminate borders? How should we deal with Immigration - integration, assimilation and separation? What is shared economy and its connection to borders? Does cross borders education exist?
Borders and conflicts
The third step of our journey, and the most political of all, examines the notion of borders and crossing borders on the national and international level. We aim at exploring the national borders and the nature of border conflicts, namely those between two or more areas that share a border and those between two or more groups whom claim ownership over land ungoverned by a distinguishable border. We will investigate on-going border conflicts, past conflicts and the concept of international intervention to better understand the role of borders and crossing borders on the global and local political sphere.
Questions and issues: Do borders inherently create conflicts? Are borders important to maintain peace and sustainability? Examples of current and past conflicts, the influence of borders on them, and the ways borders were created or eliminated as a result of them, International intervention and national sovereignty, the influence of geo-political border conflicts on the environment, should and can we live in a world without borders?
Borders and Action
In this part, we would attempt to take the knowledge and experience we gained throughout our journey in order to address practical issues in our home communities, the action we, as youth, can take in order to solve them and the obstacles or borders we should cross in order to take the necessary action.
We will split into discussion-action groups of common interest. In these groups we will analyze the different issues the participants will raise, understand their roots and influences, the obstacles we face when addressing these issues and the gaps we have in knowledge, experience and skills in order to properly address them. We will then create a plan of possible action items to follow throughout the year in order to take practical action to solve or improve issues which were raised.
Examples of interest groups: Environmental sustainability, conflict education, civic engagement, media, youth employment and more.