“An enemy is a person whose story you haven’t heard”
Project Narratives is based on the simple belief that most people would not normally desire to harm or kill another human being. This circumstance can result only from a severe de-humanization of one’s “enemies”. It is in fact this de-humanizing effect that in many cases responsible for all manners of human conflict: from personal strife to massive international wars.
Social psychology tells us that one of the most powerful and effective ways of bridging the divide that a lack of empathy and understanding has created between conflicted groups is to bring them in direct contact. This forces people to reconsider concepts such as what they consider an „enemy“ and causes them to refocus on the effects of the conflict on other human beings.
While this basic principle is sound, it is also important to recognize that direct contact can often be a dangerous and limited method of facilitating re-humanizing. Thus, Project Narratives utilizes the medium of video interviews to show the effects of conflicts on individual people.
With this alternative approach that focuses on personal, conflict-related stories, we are able to remind a wider audience of the humanity of the people affected, thus shifting the public focus from political questions of blame and differences to the shared human experience. This creates a powerful common ground on which to base new initiatives of conflict resolution.
Project Narratives is driven by a diverse team of Melton Fellows. First ideated at the Melton Foundation's Global Citizenship Conference 2013, the Project Team has received support from the Melton Foundation to transform the idea into reality.
Click here to find out more about Project Narrative.