May 13, 2007

The human face of conflict

The Face2Face Project displays portraits of Palestinians and Israelis doing the same job and to post them face to face, in huge formats, in unavoidable places, on the Israeli and the Palestinian sides. (- via.)

So, do you really think varied cultures really read faces differently? (- via.)

The humanity of it all is all too palpable.... So, why do human's hate each other as often as they do? Are we the victims of our own narrow-mindedness, who find it too easy to succumb to the stereotypes fed to us from all kinds of biased sources, letting misinformation frame our perceptions - the so-called devil-effect at work (speaking of which, read an interesting op-ed piece by Amit Varma on the effects of the halo-effect) or is there more than cognitive / attributional bias that blinds us to our commonalities and highlights our differences? Sometimes, in the throes of cynicism and despair, I do wonder if we are hard-wired to hate rather than to love...though it would seem it should be the reverse - i.e. compassion and love should be the norm and hate the exception. A look around the world certainly does not always give one that feeling.

Anyways, research (pdf of an illustrative journal paper) into the psychology of the source of our biases may go on... but all I know is that the color of blood is red everywhere... a smile is a smile is a smile... laughter sounds the same everywhere... and so does a sob in the depths of despair. The Face2Face project is a great reflection of the common humanity that binds us all.

Enuf said... it's Sunday morning and I am now rambling..

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