Welcome to our Hope and Resistance website, we hope that you can engage with the information presented and that it encourages you to think about what Palestinian young people are wanting to say to the world. Throughout this project and our ongoing work in Palestine we are committed to creating spaces where those who are silenced are able to come to voice.
The Hope and Resistance website is an exhibition space and is one phase of an ongoing research and field trip exchange project with the Palestinian community based in Tulkarm Refugee Camp in the West Bank.
The first phase resulted in the publication of the book, ‘Voices from the West Bank’ (2011). The research explored the context of daily life under the illegal occupation, seeking to share the often-silenced voices of Palestinian families, particularly children and young people. This research engaged 250 Palestinian young people and families.
The second phase of research took place in Palestine in 2016. The researchers worked with local Palestinian leaders and conducted interviews with community welfare workers to explore their perspectives on resistance and social justice under oppressive political regimes. The research focused on exploring approaches to community development and social work from a Palestinian perspective in order to share and learn from Palestinian practice.
The third phase was initiated in September 2018. This phase of the research has evaluated the impacts of Liverpool Hope University biennial student field trips to Palestine. From 2014-2020, Liverpool Hope University staff have taken over one hundred Liverpool Hope students on field trips to Palestine. The trip enabled students to explore the daily experiences of Palestinians in context over a two-week period. The students are hosted by families in the Tulkarm refugee camp. The evaluation of the field trips explored their impacts on students’ professional learning and practice in social work, social care, and youth and community development. It also explored the reciprocal impacts of the field trips on the Palestinian host families.
A further strand of this research phase examined the experiences of Palestinian children, young people and families. The participants were Palestinian children and young people, and Palestinian schoolteachers, who have used artwork to depict what they want the rest of the world to know about their lived experience, of what it means to be a Palestinian child or young person living in the West Bank.
Visitors to this website will be able to view artwork from young Palestinians who were asked to respond to the question, ‘what do you want to tell the world about being a young person living in Palestine?’ While the pictures speak for themselves, the exchange will also contextualise the pictures with historical and contemporary background material representing a perspective on the history of a displaced people.
This exhibition creates a space for Palestinian communities to exhibit drawings, testimony and photographs that relate to their experiences of life in the Palestinian West Bank. Young people’s voices and experiences are seldom heard in debate about the Palestine/Israel conflict, about the life of refugees or about the prospect of peace. This provides a very clear root for the exhibition with its focus on drawings as voice for young Palestinians.
The organisers of this event are academics at Liverpool Hope University. Our purpose is to research and study young Palestinian’s perceptions of their life and futures. We do not represent any entrenched political position with regard to the conflict in Palestine/Israel.
As organisers we are opposed to all forms of racism, antisemitism and orientalism. The students and staff who have taken part in field trips to Palestine have been Christian, Muslim, Jewish and people of no faith.
Like the young people in this exhibition, we aspire to a world where people will be free to travel to their homes and ancestral lands without fear of violence or the threat of violence; a world in which people of all religions and none can live in peaceful co-existence.