Olivewood Ties : חיבור עץ זית / روابط الزيتون Miller, Samantha
Past and present peace negotiations have failed to propel Israelis and Palestinians to coexistence and liberation. These nations have conflicting collective narratives that make it challenging to accept the legitimacy of the other’s right to exist. Furthermore, physical barriers to peace, such as the nearly 800-kilometre separation barrier, erode possibilities for interaction and human connection. This academic endeavour challenges the myth that peace and war are binary and cannot exist simultaneously. Upon the acceptance that the consequences of war are sociocultural and spatial, we can begin navigating a spatial strategy for peacebuilding. Both groups share a deep-rooted love and respect for the land they call home or dream of one day returning to. Because of this, these communities have enmeshed realities, and their futures are both tied to each other and the land. Olivewood Ties investigates how landscape can be a peacebuilding mechanism in the divided context of Israel/Palestine. Presently and historically, trees in Israel/Palestine were proxy soldiers, employed in warfighting, land acquisition, and nation-building. If trees and flora were instead proxy peacebuilders, what implications do different landscape design strategies possess and moreover, what opportunities do they offer as a mechanism toward healing and unity? This project aims to reveal the faces of perseverance, the activist groups who unite Israelis and Palestinians, and the trees who bore witness to the tears of suffering and celebration of liberation.
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