Culture for Coexistence is a UK based organisation seeking to inform and encourage dialogue about Israel and the Palestinians within the wider cultural and creative community. We believe that culture is unique in its ability to build bridges and connect communities in conflict by appealing to their common humanity.
We believe that the arts transcend barriers of language and that engaging in joint cultural projects can help to promote working towards a peaceful coexistence across both communities.
With our aims and values to act as agents for change and in our attempts to create connections we aim to encourage those in the cultural world in the UK to examine what can be done here to help facilitate the cultural engagement of Israelis and Palestinians in a neutral and safe environment away from conflict.
Culture for Coexistence came into existence following the call for a cultural boycott of Israel in an open letter in the Guardian. The letter proposed that UK artists refuse invitations to Israel as well as boycott Israeli cultural events in the UK - exhibitions, performances, film dance and theatre events - if they had Israeli government backing. Culture for Coexistence published a letter in response in the Guardian, suggesting that culture can play a unique role in encouraging engagement and bridging divides between communities. Boycotts, we explained, were an obstacle to artistic communication, a barrier to peaceful coexistence and would push peace further away by polarising an already divided community.
We believe that it is only through dialogue and engagement that a peaceful resolution to the conflict can be achieved with a two-state solution where the national self-determination of both peoples is realised, with the State of Israel and a Palestinian State living side by side in peace and security.