Distinguished Lecture by Dr. Jon Simons

17 October 2017 at 13:15-15:00 in Faculty Club (H429), Ekonomikum, Kyrkogårdsgatan 10, Uppsala

From Ear to Ear, From Camera to Screen: The Bereaved Families Forum and Peace Activism in Israel-Palestine


The Parent’s Circle Families Forum is a grassroots organization of bereaved Palestinians and Israelis that promotes reconciliation as an alternative to hatred and revenge.  This bi-national peace organization aims to transform on a political level, countering the hegemonic, nationalist mobilization of bereavement in Israel by re-politicizing grief as a motivator for an agenda of peace.  The focus is on the significance of the group’s public and mediated performance of bereavement in Jewish-Israeli culture, emphasizing how it translates its face-to-face activities such as dialogue groups onto screens of both “old” and “new” media, through forms such as documentary, video and social media pages.  Why does it matter that the group perseveres in its activities even though it (and other peace groups) clearly fail to transform public affect on a large scale?


Dr. Jon Simons is Associate Head of School of Arts and Communication (Research and Knowledge Exchange) at Leeds Trinity University in the UK. His research and teaching is on training in political theory with a focus on the interface between media, social and cultural theory, where he has a particular interest in political images.  He is also active in the Israeli Palestinian dialogue and his current research focuses on images of peace in the Israeli peace movement.  Dr. Simons spent 10 years in Israel where he completed his PhD in Political Science at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, and was active in the peace movement, especially in the Israeli-Palestinian dialogue group.