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?

Concepts:

  • 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.

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