We have chosen the following values to be guidelines for the project:
This is a whole set of values and therefore an individual section is dedicated to Nonviolent Communication (see the menu).
Transparency and openness
We believe in sharing method, knowledge and processes. We want to show how we work in the project and how we design and manage the website. We want to include ourselves and our processes and be open, therefore everything we do is based on discussion and choice. We take chances and want to hear feedback and suggestions in order to learn, and we hope that this will inspire participation and support.
We want full and aware consent from the people in the videos at the time of the recording, and we want to keep this consent ongoing. So if anybody wants to withdraw their consent we will accept their decision. Concretely, it is always agreed verbally and on paper that, if at any time we are notified of withdrawal of consent, we will take down the person’s video clip from the website. Another area of consent is that of the people in the Voice by Voice team. They too only participate by full, conscious and ongoing consent. We want to ensure that the project is only driven by energy according to actual interest.
Equality is about the presentation of Israeli and Palestinian video clips on the website: We aim to balance the number and minutes of Israeli and Palestinian video clips. Equality is also about language accessibility to the project and website: We have set a goal to create the website in Arabic and in Hebrew alongside the international English version, and to have each video clip subtitled in two languages. We attempt to cover all three languages in the project team equally so that people can be met and share their experiences in their own language. Equality in the team reflects our wish for the same equality that we want in the project and website.
As people are invited to express themselves personally and vulnerably it is important for us to keep considering their safety. In the present situation in Israel and Palestine political interests are strong. Standing out and taking a risk can generate a strong need for safety. One way we want to meet the need for safety is through ongoing consent and the option to have the video removed from the website. Another way is by reviewing the comments on the videos before they go public on the site. Some videos can trigger strong reactions in the viewer and we may choose other ways of meeting such strong reactions rather than publishing them directly, for example by sending a private message to the commentator. A third way to meet the need for safety is that people can choose to be filmed anonymously.
A sign of whether things are working nonviolently or not is if connection is promoted or not. Violent communication is communication that stimulates resistance, withdrawal, distance and self protection. We believe that connection is possible even between enemies. Connection to others is directly related to self-connection. By being connected you stand strong in yourself in the presence of anyone, no matter what they choose to do or say. Connection is not agreement, not acceptance of a situation you don’t like, not normalisation. Connection is awareness of your own and the other person’s uniqueness and common human right to exist and have a place in the concrete space you are in, locally and globally, with whatever differences you might have in viewpoints and preferences.
We want to know and understand, understand ourselves, the people who want to tell their story, the people who visit the project and website, and what happens between us. Knowing and understanding – awareness – is all it takes. Awareness is about more than political, social and cultural ideas. It is this ‘more’ we want to get to know and we think Nonviolent Communication is a good strategy to get there. Behind ideas and thinking there is life and changing versions of life, and these versions, needs, are our deeper motivators in all we do. Once we understand the needs of a person, we can relate and fully understand. Awareness is about seeing what is usually not seen. Awareness is about opening, about expansion, not change. Change, movement and peace will come by themselves when there is awareness and space.