Depressive position

Depressive position

(Melanie Klein) The initial depressive position is a significant step in integrative development which occurs when the infant discovers that the hated bad breast and the loved good breast are one and the same. The mother begins to be recognized as a whole object who can be good and bad, rather than two part-objects, one good and one bad. Love and hate, along with external reality and internal phantasy, can now also begin to co-exist. Winnicott found the depressive position in emotional development as an achievement.

Creative process

Creative process

There are many models of the creative process, but most seem to refer to characteristics of, and ability to recognise , imagine, empathise ,reflect, agency, explore, collaborate, and evaluate



To perceive an individual or a human group as devoid of human characteristics and qualities perceiving them instead with animalistic or mechanistic characteristics. Baron-Cohen suggests dehumanization is the result of low or no empathy so that the pain of others is not felt; moral and ethical thought and behavior is likewise suspended. (Baron-Cohen S: Zero Degrees of Empathy. Allen Lane Publishing. 2011). However, Baron-Cohen’s critique does not include cultural, hierarchical, or personal interest or survival as components in dehumanization.

Collective trauma

Collective trauma

Societies that have been massively traumatised have followed roughly similar patterns of adaptation and disintegration to individual trauma.

When large groups of people or nations suffer simultaneously from violence and/or social breakdown, as in war or a tsunami, symptoms of disorganization and fear as with individual trauma affect the whole population. Aggression in the service of self-protection is a common response to collective trauma, even when not appropriate or self-damaging; apathy is another common response. When action (the group action or external action?)to remediate a damaging situation is taken the group is less traumatized; when it is impossible, trauma is intensified.

Collective punishment

Collective punishment

Collective punishment is the punishment of a group of people as a result of the behavior of one or more other individuals or groups. The punished group may often have no direct association with the other individuals or groups, or direct control over their actions. In times of war and armed conflict, collective punishment has resulted in atrocities, and is a violation of the laws of war and the Geneva Conventions. Historically, occupying powers have used collective punishment to retaliate against and deter attacks on their forces by Resistance movements (e.g. destroying entire towns and villages where such attacks have occurred). (Wikipedia)

Collective narrative

Collective narrative

As with individuals, groups small and large reconstruct their group experience through stories that may become the official collective narrative of the group. Confronting or changing a collective narrative may be difficult simply because so many are invested in it, emotionally or through the power hierarchy. Individuals attempting to create a new version of the collective narrative may induce anxiety in the group and find themselves the objects of group aggression.

Collective identity

Collective identity

Collective identity refers to a person’s sense of belonging to the group or collective. It is thought that this sense of belonging can be so powerful that it overwhelms other aspects of a person’s identity. This ‘identity’ transcends the individual.

Being invisible

Being invisible

when an individual experiences herself, as not being seen, or recognised, by the other, or group, despite being present.



Attachment the gradually developing quality of a bilateral reciprocal affectionate relationship between the infant and mother/primary caregiver. Bowlby derived the term attachment from ethology observation of primates and infants with their parents or caregivers. A secure attachment is a specific kind of relating between infant and primary carer (the attachment figure) whose availability, proximity, and a predictable response, provides the child with a sense of safety. The child seeks proximity to the ‘secure attachment’ figure when sick, emotionally upset, frightened, or in danger, for instance, running to mother when hurt, or a baby ape clinging to mother when a predator appears.

The term derived from observation of infants with their parents or caregivers in which the infants seek proximity in varying degrees to their caregiver for safety when upset, frightened or in danger. Bowlby called the interaction between the infant and caregiver at such time attachment behaviours and patterns; he identified different caregivers’ responses to the child’s need for proximity as either offering ‘secure attachment’ or ‘insecure attachment’.

Secure attachment in human infants is linked to reliable parental emotional responsiveness, which offers recognition and comfort of distress. A reliable ‘secure attachment’ acts as a ‘safe base’ from which to explore and return to as children become independent. From an early age, these children develop the capacity to trust others, recognize other’s distress and to offer comfort, and to trust their own emotional reactions.

‘Secure attachment’ is not only found in the infant-caregiver relationship. Children and adults can later ‘earn’ secure attachment with a close friend, a teacher, a grandparent, or a group which offers a reliable secure base and attachments, and through many other experiences.

These patterns are often repeated in social attachments to groups and community.

Secure attachment in human infants is linked to emotional responsiveness, especially to being able to rely on the parent figures to respond to distress. Babies who are securely attached protest at separation, as when the parent leaves them but are able to reunite comfortably and be consoled or soothed. Children use secure attachment as a secure base to return to as they become independent. They develop the capacity to trust others and their own emotional reactions. When experienced in infancy and childhood, seeking proximity to a secure attachment figure when distressed becomes a lifelong pattern.

Insecure attachment is linked to experiences of unpredictable parental behaviour, lack of responsiveness and soothing, rejection of bids for reassurance and closeness, or even aggression by the parent. Infants can be disorganized, avoidant or clinging in response to such experiences and later exhibit mistrust toward others, either with over-reliance or inability to trust.

Social attachments can also demonstrate some of the patterns described above; for instance, secure or insecure social connection in relation to the community.

Al Nakba

Al Nakba

Al Nakba (Arabic for catastrophe) is the name given by Palestinians to refer to the 1947-9 Israeli War of Independence due to the planned expulsion of over 700,000 Palestinian Arabs, the abandonment or destruction of over 400 villages, massacre, and Judaisation of the territory partitioned to the Jews during the 1947-9 Israeli War of Independence. Contrary to UN resolutions refuges are not allowed to return to their homeland.



Agency is the capacity of an agent (a person or other entity, human or any living being in general) to act in a world. The capacity to act does not at first imply a specific moral dimension to the ability to make the choice to act, and moral agency is therefore a distinct concept.

Active listening

Active listening

A communication technique used in counselling, training and conflict resolution, which requires the listener to feed back what they hear to the speaker, by way of re-stating or paraphrasing what they have heard in their own words, to confirm what they have heard and moreover, to confirm the understanding of both parties.

Workshop Chapter 1

VIDEO PART 1 Workshop: it’s Good to Kill (and Die) for your Country.

In Video Part 1 we meet the film’s protagonists, Israeli Itamar, a former soldier in the Israeli army, and Palestinian Bassam who, at 17 years of age, was accused of terrorism and served seven years in an Israeli prison. The Video Part 1 explores how, starting from very different environments, they developed their individual perpetrator identities.

Learning Objectives:

  • To raise awareness of our own national and other collective narratives and those of others
  • To consider the process of how collective narratives are constructed
  • To understand the purposes these collective narratives serve
  • How might a collective narrative promote warrior identities?


  • How warrior and victim identities coincide and can ‘split’ within us.
  • Collective narratives: individual and group identity; the difficulty of stepping out of an unethical collective narrative.
  • When collective narratives and real experience coincide.

Issues to Explore:

  • What are you feeling having watched Video Part 1?
  • What do we know about the respective collective narratives of Bassam and Itamar?
  • How would you describe your own national collective narrative?
  • How do Bassam’s and Itamar’s respective experiences of trauma and victimhood differ?
  • Would you like to think about or share an experience in which you were either victim or perpetrator?

Facilitating the Workshop:

  1. Where might you find warrior and victim identity and collective narrative on the  Ethical Mindset diagram?
  2. Understand and acknowledge your own collective narratives before encouraging participants to recognise theirs and the impact it has had on them.

    Try using concentric circles with your core identity in the centre and acquired identities in outer circles, ; examples: gender, nationality, professional, family member, refugee, film buff…..

  3. You will have your own experience and technique for recognising and integrating past and present trauma. Think through a past hurt and consider how you ‘manage’ the mental and embodied memory of this hurt in your present life

    Think through some of your own experiences involving the ways an ‘old event’ causes you to react to a current stressful event. Give one example to the group showing the process through which you ‘made the connection’, before offering them the opportunity to try this exercise.

  4. When you reflect how you are feeling, perhaps you can locate these feelings in your body.

    Encourage participants to locate feeling in their body - including having no embodied feelings at all - but only if you and they are confident enough to do this.

Workshop Series


Committed to finding a non-violent path to resolving the human, social and emotional impasse currently affecting Israeli-Palestinian relations


1993 Rabin and Arafat seal Declaration of Principles, withdrawal from occupied Palestine, return of refugees 1994 Palestine Authority (PA) established

1995 Rabin assassinated by Jewish nationalist extremist

1996 Settlements expanded to 88% of UN 1947 resolution 181 partition plan — separation Wall, house demolitions, Palestinians denied employment

2000-05 Palestinian Second Intifada — mass resistance movement escalates

2004 Arafat dies amid accusations of assassination — Abbas elected President

2005 Israel evacuates Jews from Gaza

2006-07 Hamas wins PA elections — rockets fired into Israel from Gaza

2008-09 Israel attacks and blockades Gaza — builds separation wall around Gaza and West Bank

2010 Arab Spring begins — call for democracy in Arab countries

2012 Declining Palestinian support for two-state — in favour of bi-national State (Abunimah New Statesman, July 2012)



1967 Arafat becomes PLO leader

1967 The Six-day War — Israel annexes Jerusalem and Golan Heights, occupies Gaza, Sinai and West Bank, expelling thousands of Palestinians and Syrians

1967-2012 Occupation — border closures, checkpoints, passes required for Palestinian, curfews

1973 Yom Kippur/Ramadan War — Israel attacked by Egypt and Syria

1978 Arafat offers peace in return for Israel recognising Palestine

1979 Camp David Meetings Peace Agreement between Egypt and Israel — Sinai Peninsula returned to Egypt

1981 Sadat assassinated by Egyptian soldiers

1982 Israel Invades Lebanon — Lebanese allies massacre Palestinian refugees in Sabra and Shatila camps

1987-93 Palestinian First Intifada — mass resistance in Gaza and West Bank against Israeli occupation

1988 PLO in exile votes for 'two-state solution' — offers to renounce terrorism for return to pre-1967 borders




1917 Balfour Declaration — UK promises national homeland for Jews in Palestine

1923-48 British Mandate in Palestine  

1920-39 250,000 Jews migrate to Palestine

1936-39 Arab Revolt against Jewish immigration and Mandate suppressed by British

1937 British recommend Partition Plan into Arab and Jewish States of approximatey equal size

1938 British White Paper recommends binational State

1939-45 World War II

1939-45 The Holocaust — Nazi regime systematically persecutes and murders six million Jews and six million left-wing activists, Roma, lesbians and gays and disabled people

1948 British leave Palestine — UN 181 Partition resolution is never instituted

1948 Declaration of the State of Israel — in war between Israelis and Arab states, Israel gains 50% more land than in Partition agreement

1948-49 Al Nakba / The Catastrophe — Israel carries out expulsion plan and 750,000 Palestinian Arabs lose their land and become refugees


 Learning Objectives:

  • To raise awareness of our own collective narrative and those of others
  • To consider the process of how they are constructed
  • To understand the purposes these collective narratives serve


  • Understanding the process individuals undergo when developing a warrior or perpetrator identity, a victim identity and a collective narrative

 Issues to Explore:

  • What are you feeling having watched this segment?
  • What do we know about the respective collective narratives of Bassam and Itamar?
  • How would you describe your own collective narrative?
  • How do you see trauma and victimhood as experienced by Bassam and by Itamar?  How do their respective experiences differ?
  • Would you like to think about or share an experience in which you were either victim or perpetrator?


Terminology: dissociation; trauma; post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); transformation; agency

  1. Watching that film made Itamar see himself as a killer rather than when he killed. What helped Itamar step out of disassociation and denial?
  2. What was the role of Shimon, Bassam's prison guard, in the dialogue that developed between them?
  3. The dialogue with Shimon does not get Bassam out of prison, so what does Bassam gain from it?
  4. What transformation did both Bassam and Shimon undergo through their dialogue?
  5. Working with the farmer from Gaza changed Itamar's attitudes about serving in the reserves in the occupied territory. What brought about this change in Itamar?

Building Skills

  1. How might you recognise and support people with regard to dissociation after traumatic events?
  2. How can dissociation and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) be recognised? Build a PTSD programme for a community under stress?
  3. What do you know about dialogue? How would you teach empathic listening, feeling and feedback?
  4. Can communities as well as individuals be dissociated? What might the impact be and how would you address it?



Terminology: 'the third'; 'the moral third' ; attachment patterns; empathy; recognition; resilience; 'refusenik'

  1. What sort of family attachment patterns do Bassam and Itamar come from? Do they differ?
  2. Reflect on your own family attachment patterns. How would you describe them in comparison to Bassam's and Itamar's?
  3. How do you understand Itamar's father's reaction to his pilot 'refusenik' son Yonatan?
  4. Where else besides the family are secure attachments experienced?

Building Skills

  1. What would building a secure base for a classroom, a work place, a political group, or family entail for your profession?
  2. How can you create a culture of empathy and recognition between individuals and groups where there are members from different cultural, political or ethnic backgrounds
  3. Can you build an exercise deconstructing the idea that "It is good to die (and kill) for your country" in favour of seeking 'the third', an alternative way?



Terminology: pain; resilience; dissociation; empathy; recognition; peace building

  1. What is the nature of Bassam's and Itamar's respective experience of pain? How do they differ?
  2. Reflect on your own pain and how you were comforted. How does your experience of pain affect your response to the pain of others?
  3. Why might pain result in anger or dissociation? How do you think pain might enhance or destroy resilience?
  4. What might be the role of pain in empathy, recognition and peace building?

Building Skills

  1. How might you raise the issue of pain in individuals or groups in conflict?
  2. When might it be helpful to differentiate between dissociation and resilience with regard to pain?
  3. If pain can be felt for self and other, how would you use this in your profession and peacemaking?



Terminology: seeing; recognition

  1. What is the difference between seeing and recognition?
  2. Have you ever felt 'invisible' or 'not recognised'?
  3. When might you have not seen or recognised the other?
  4. What are the psychological processes that lead to not seeing and recognising?

Building Skills

  1. What skills can you build that help 'see and recognise' the other?
  2. What skills can you develop that could help those who feel 'invisible' to feel recognised?


Terminology: trauma; bereavement

  1. How did Abir's death affect you?
  2. How do you understand Bassam's ability to maintain his 'responsibility to his message' when his daughter has been killed?
  3. How does Salwa's reaction to Bassam after Abir's death reflect the role of women in peace-building?
  4. What is Bassam saying about Abir's murderer?
  5. How do you understand Bassam's insistence on legal justice as opposed to revenge?

Building Skills

  1. Can you adapt some of the support Bassam received into a programme for individual or community bereavement?


Terminology: denial; self state; collective narrative

  1. What might the connection be between experiencing family or other secure attachment and Itamar's decision to disobey army commands of violence?
  2. We see Itamar moving out of denial into making his own decisions with regard to violent combat. What process has Itamar gone through?
  3. How do you understand that the lies Itamar felt he was told by his parents, the collective narrative and the army were worse for him than killing someone?
  4. What was the role of Combatants for Peace, and his family, in helping Itamar mourn his national ideology and to support a different ideology.

Building Skills

  1. How can ordinary citizens and combatants be empowered and rewarded to speak out when they feel something is wrong?
  2. Build a human rights programme that can be integrated and prioritised into school and professional educations.


Terminology: sacrifice; dissociate; moral third

  1. What is the meaning of sacrifice in this scene?
  2. What does Jessica Benjamin mean by "revolutionary movements sacrifice their children"?
  3. How do you understand Bassam and Itamar's revulsion to blood?
  4. What is your own reaction to blood?

Building Skills

  1. Explore the difference between sacrificing yourself by being killed, sacrificing yourself by killing someone else, and sacrificing the younger generation for your ideology
  2. Can you think of famous characters who were symbolically or literally sacrificed? Can you build an educational story with a changed ending?


Terminology: self states; transgression; trauma; victimhood; narrative; collective narrative; identity; collective identity

  1. What does Jessica mean by self states with regard to Israeli victimhood and perpetration?
  2. Can you name leaders who have transgressed the collective norm?
  3. Bassam would not let others see him cry. How might it affect a community that shares a trauma if a leader does not cry?

Building Skills

  1. How might you build a program that might overcome humiliation and shame?
  2. How can you help people think 'outside the box' in order to deconstruct collective narratives and identities and construct a new narrative?


Terminology: transgression; attachment; failed witness; dissociation; rupture and repair; witnessing; asymmetry of power

  1. What happens to your identity when you become a member of a group?
  2. What do you understand by the term 'witnessing'? Can you give examples?
  3. Can you think of an example of failed witnessing of an individual or a community?
  4. How does dialogue help members of Combatants for Peace, given the imbalance of power, when they are in conflict?

Building Skills

  1. How can group members be helped to identify their own and others' identities and retain them?
  2. Having recognised different identities, what sort of work on difference might be helpful?
  3. What team building would you suggest to establish relationships and the aims and purpose of the group?
  4. How would you build a programme to help groups deal with external and internal imbalance of power?
  5. Build a model for witnessing individual and/or community trauma that includes empathic listening and feeling and recognition.

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Daniel Wade

Daniel Wade

Daniel Wade has  a background in documentary film; drawing on his own experience of growing up in Israel and serving in the army, Daniel developed the pedagogic structure of Beyond Violence. Daniel began his career in photography at a young age having his first exhibition at 12 years old. He has taught documentary film, written film scripts, acted as a consultant and worked as a cameraman.
He and his partner Eti Wade challenged traditional art form and middle class family myth in their live installation the 2.4 project; the public were invited daily into their home to view the Wade family as art. Daniel is a marathon runner supporting projects for disabled people, specifically with learning difficulty and depressed young men. Daniel lives in London with Eti, their three boys and canine daughter Olive.

Moshé Machover

Moshé Machover

Moshé Machover

Moshé Machover was born in 1936 in Tel-Aviv, Palestine. As a teenager he joined the left-Zionist youth movement Hashomer Hatza‘ir, from which he was expelled in 1952 for questioning its ideology. As a student, he joined the Israeli Communist Party, from which he was expelled in 1962 together with a small group of party dissidents who challenged the ICP’s lack of internal democracy and its subservience to the Soviet Union.

In the same year they founded the Israeli Socialist Organization (better known by the name of its journal, Matzpen, and later renamed the Socialist Organization in Israel), an independent radical left group.

Moshé Machover is a mathematician. He taught at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the university of Bristol, and at King’s College, London; he is emeritus professor at London University, and has been living in London since late 1968.

Apart from academic books and papers on mathematical logic and social choice (the mathematical theory of collective decision-making), he has written extensively on socialist theory, particularly as applied to Israel, the Middle East and the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.

With Akiva Orr he co-authored Peace, Peace where there is no Peace (1961) on the Israeli–Palestinian conflict (Hebrew; English translation available online) With Emmanuel Farjoun he co-authored Laws of Chaos: A Probabilistic Approach to Political Economy (Verso, 1983), a critical reconstruction of Marxian political economy using a stochastic approach borrowed from statistical mechanics. A collection of his essays, Israelis and Palestinians; Conflict and Resolution was published by Haymarket Books in 2012.

Hanif Kahn

Hanif KhanHanif Khan

Hanif Khan lives in London UK and is married with two children. Hanif is a video director, lighting cameraman and editor who runs his own business in media production. He has more than 15 years experience in broadcast television, working for Sky, BBC, MTA Intl. and other broadcasters. He has directed sport events and festivals along with producing corporate video production of the highest quality using high definition (full HD).

Hanif Khan is a committed professional with considerable capacity to deliver crisp, effective editing and technical advice, whether for news programmes or magazine style show features. His broadcast work has featured location filming at major live sporting events, award ceremonies and festivals.

He works closely with MTA Intl, a 24hr TV Station run mainly by full time volunteers, which is self-funded, it is geared towards family viewing. His main work for MTA Intl. is Training and Development, however he has worked as technical coordinator, in all aspects of live and recorded production, in particular News Production.

Hanif was President of the Hounslow Chamber of Commerce in 2010. He is also a member of the Hounslow Borough Community Police Consultative Group. Hanif is involved in residents’ concerns and in securing improvements in peoples lives. This is why he was passionate about working on the film with Irris and the team on Beyond Violence and is proud to be part of such a brilliant piece of work.

Hanif enjoy’s playing Football and Badminton and enjoys yearly skiing trips


Languages: First Language English Urdu (fluently spoken), Arabic (read)

Bassam Aramin

Bassam Aramin

Hanif KhanBassam Aramin

Bassam Aramin became involved in the Palestinian struggle as a boy growing up in the ancient city of Hebron. At 17, he was caught planning an attack on Israeli troops, and spent seven years in prison. In 2005, he co-founded Combatants for Peace, an organisation of former Israeli and Palestinian combatants leading a non-violent struggle against the occupation. Since then, Bassam has never picked up a weapon – not even when, two years later, his ten-year-old daughter Abir was gunned down and killed.

At the age of 12 Bassam joined a demonstration where a boy was shot by a soldier. “I watched him die in front of me. From that moment I developed a deep need for revenge and became part of a group whose mission was to get rid of the catastrophe that had come to our village. We called ourselves freedom fighters. At first we raised the Palestinian flag over electric cables and in trees; then we threw stones and empty bottles, later we found Jordanian abandoned hand grenades and decided to hurl them at Israeli jeeps -two of them exploded.  No one was hurt. In 1985, at the age of 17, I  received a seven-year prison sentence.”

On October 1, 1987, in an Israeli prison 120 prisoners – all teenage boys – were beat, naked, until they could hardly stand. Bassam was held the longest and beaten the hardest. The incident with the soldiers made Bassam realize the importance of preserving humanity – the right to laugh and the right to cry. About this time Bassam began conversations with a prison guard who had tried to protect him.  It was the start of a dialogue and a friendship. “He thought Palestinians were the settlers and didn’t understand our fight.  I carefully prepared for our talks and told him our story. We discovered many similarities and some months later the guard said he understood now that the Palestinians were not the settlers and that he understood our cause.” Seeing how this transformation happened just through talking made Bassam realize that the only way to resolve the conflict was through dialogue, not violence.

Bassam was released in 1992 just before the Oslo Accords, and there was a great feeling of hope for a two-state solution. It wasn’t until 2005 that some Palestinians ex-combatants and Israelis former soldiers, who had all come to believe in non-violence started meeting in secret. They met as true enemies who wanted to speak. The Israelis were refusing to fight, not for the sake of the Palestinian people, but for the sake of the morals of their society. The Palestinians, too were not acting to save Israeli lives, but to prevent Palestinian society from suffering more. It was only later that both sides came to feel a responsibility for each other’s people.

On January 16, 2007, Bassam's 10-year-old daughter, Abir, was shot and killed in cold blood by an Israeli soldier while standing outside her school with some classmates. The children hadn’t even been throwing stones. Bassam is the co-founder of the Palestinian-Israeli movement Combatants for Peace and since Abir’s death has been an active member of the Bereaved Parents Circle. Why Bassam continues is his efforts to move others beyond violence is best described in his own words:

“ Abir’s murder could easily have led me down the path of hatred and vengeance, but I felt compelled to return to dialogue and non-violence. After all, it was one Israeli soldier who shot my daughter, but it was one hundred former Israeli soldiers, Combatants for Peace, who built  a garden in her name at the school where she was murdered.”

Bassam is 44 years old, has 6 children and works in public relations for the Palestine National Archives in Ramallah for the Palestinian Authority.

Graham Lucas

Graham Lucas

Graham Lucas is a co-founder of Utopia Arts, and is a video editor & film director and producer.

 In the 1980’s Graham was a co-founder of Spot On Productions which produced TV documentaries and educational, training and music videos.

 In the community sector Graham directed and produced, “There’s Something About Me I Like!” a video musical about bullying in a large comprehensive school.

A creative factotum: theatre, video, lighting and sound technician. An all rounder with scriptwriter, theatre producer, stage director and event manager as strings to his bow. Graham is now Utopia Art's project coordinator.

Jessica Benjamin

Jessica BenjaminJessica Benjamin

Jessica Benjamin is a relational psychoanalyst practising in New York City, and the author of several books on the theme of recognition. She is best known for The Bonds of Love: Psychoanalysis, Feminism and the Problem of Domination which has been translated into many languages. Starting out as a social activist in the U.S. civil rights and anti-war movements, she became a feminist activist as well. She spent part of her graduate education studying social theory in Germany, where she experienced first-hand the legacy of the perpetrators’ children in contrast to her own experiences growing up as an American Jew.

Her interest in the dilemmas of victims and perpetrators, both in clinical work and in social trauma, led her to focus on the need for acknowledgment of suffering and for social recognition. She is at present writing about the problem of ‘failed witness’, the role of public denial in personal and collective trauma, and the need for restoring the function of public witnessing.  Her current work also reflects her experiences with psychologist activists involved with post-trauma therapy in Chile and post-reconciliation work in South Africa. She would like to thank all those involved in those projects from whom she learned so much.

Jessica teaches on the faculty at the New York University Postdoctoral Psychology Program in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy and on the Stephen A. Mitchell Center for Relational Studies in New York, which she co-founded. She also lectures and supervises all over the world, presenting her perspective on psychoanalysis (including gender development and intersubjectivity) as well as on the need for acknowledgment of collective trauma.

Irris Singer

Irris Singer

Irris SingerIrris Singer is a feminist psychotherapist working within an Attachment and Relational orientation in the interface between psychoanalysis and politics. A training therapist, supervisor, teacher, feminist and human rights activist, Irris Singer lives between Israel and London. She has worked professionally in both countries, co-founding the feminist Counselling Centre for Women Israel, and as acting Clinical Director at the Institute for Psychoanalysis and Social Studies UK.

Irris’s particular interest is in difference and how that gets played out between individuals and groups. Irris draws on her own experience of difference between her immigrant Jewish family’s heritage and the English communities where they lived. Early on she realised that her difference could provoke either hostility or idealisation even at school. Later she experienced a similar dynamic between class and people’s colour in the UK, and later still in Israel between Jews of different ethnicities, colour and class, and more acutely between Jews and Arabs.

Irris struggled to understand what was behind those responses. With the help of students and participants in her experiential workshops on difference, Irris has come to understand the internal process of projections and introjections that either dehumanise or idealise. Irris and the Moving Beyond Violence team have focused on the protagonists’ reversal of that process as they withdraw their projections and step out of denial of collective dehumanising narratives and behaviours.

Irris and the team (check us out) look forward to your contribution on the website. We hope that together we can find ways to contribute in our work settings and communities to reduce the cycle of fear and violence that so often accompanies difference.


Riva Joffe

Riva JoffeRiva Joffe

Riva Joffe is South African, from a political exile family that moved to London in the 1940s. She became involved in the anti-Apartheid movement, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, and later the women’s movement. Currently she works for Palestinian rights, as a Jewish-heritage, anti-Zionist who has renounced her so-called ‘Right of Return’.

Her earlier careers included palaeontology research, writing a book, Conservation, and teaching Biology. She adopted two children, and after studying for an MSc in human nutrition, worked in public health and taught in medical schools. Later she became a training consultant and a mediator, specialising in personal development and in diversity and equalities.

She trained as a psychotherapist some 25 years ago and now works overtly politically, mostly with people who have experience of discrimination and is also active in bringing the psychotherapy profession into line with demands of Equalities legislation.

Martin Land

Martin LandMartin Land

Martin Land is a theoretical physicist living in Jerusalem. He is president of the International Association for Relativistic Dynamics and teaches computer science at Hadassah College and the Open University of Israel. A delegate to the college teachers union, he has been active in peace movements, civil rights, feminism and LGBT since the late 1960s. He is co-author of Time and Human Language Now, in addition to articles in relativistic physics, computer networking, and critical theory.

Recent work includes a critique of race-religion-nation as categories in social theory, and a study of resistance to theory in contemporary political and academic discourse. He is married to feminist psychotherapist Janet Baumgold, whom he gratefully acknowledges as a primary source of insight in relational psychology.

Joseph Schwartz

Joseph Schwartz

Joseph Schwartz is an attachment-based psychotherapist practising in London. A member of the Bowlby Centre in London, he is co-editor of Ritual Abuse and Mind Control: The Manipulation of Attachment Needs and author of Cassandra's Daughter: A History of Psychoanalysis in Europe and America. He has also published numerous papers in professional journals.

 A former physicist, he is also the author of Einstein for Beginners, Partial Progress, and The Creative Moment. He was a civil rights worker in Mississippi from 1964 to 1965, a shop steward in the college teachers’ union in New York and a minor officer in the National Union of Journalists in London. He was active in Science for the People in the US and the British Society for Social Responsibility in Science in the UK. He is married to Rachel Wingfield Schwartz.

Itamar Shappira

Itamar ShappiraItamar Shappira

Itamar Shappira is Israeli, 33 years of age and lives in (West) Jerusalem. He is a former IDF soldier. Itamar is the Israeli protagonist of the film Moving Beyond Violence.

As an activist, Itamar co-founded and worked with ‘Combatants for Peace’ from 2005 to 2008. He was its Israeli coordinator for a year. He also represented the organisation ‘Breaking the Silence’ abroad, in a number of European countries. Drawing from his own experience of participation in the military and from hundreds of testimonies given by other soldiers, he gave talks about the practices of control and terror of the Israeli Army in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

He works as a tour guide, specialising in Jerusalem, focusing on cultural-religious-ethnic tension and collaboration, narratives of religion and politics and collective identities, both in history and in the present. He works both privately and through a unique Israeli-Palestinian alternative tourism company. In the past he worked for over three years at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem until he was fired for ‘mixing the Holocaust with politics’ (god forbid...) and today gives alternative Holocaust-remembrance tours at Yad Vashem (privately of course).

He puts his time and energy in a number of different activities: he plays flamenco guitar, performing with Flamenco singers, dancers, and percussionists, and occasionally collaborates with musicians from different traditions, including Arabic, Indian and jazz.

Today he is an independent activist, not attached to any particular NGO and he continues to look for a better way to contribute.