Neil Eschenfelder
  • Sandy, UT
  • United States
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  • Narine Melikyan
  • Oliver Haack

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My personal story:
A few years ago, I viewed a film called "The Projectionist." I believe the film exhibited a side of the Israeli Palestinian conflict Americans seldom see. The film showed the difficulties endured by a Palestinian man whose job consisted of taking a film projector from neighborhood to neighborhood in Palestinian communities. This man encountered numerous challenges imposed by varying levels of security, checkpoints and more during travel to shows. He had to fabricate parts, arrange alternate showings, deal with power shortages, various hazards and more. The images were very powerful.

I teach photography as part of my work life and would like to employ this powerful medium to foster and enhance peace prospects in the region. I believe using photography to let each group peer into the daily lives of the other would go a long way toward bringing peace to the region. I have a written project proposal ready to submit to Me Peace to achieve just such a result.
Why I want peace:
I believe the current conflict consumes a huge amount of time, energy and resources, not to mention putting lives at risk across the community. We could reduce expenditures on all fronts if we bring not the politicians, but individuals from each group together to understand each other through the use of photography to make it happen
Interests and activities:
Photography and photography insturction consumes my life. I teach at the community ed department at the Unversity of Utah. I taught my class to diverse entities such as the Entrada Institute in Torrey, Utah. I was asked to bring my class to the NGO called Wildlife Conservation Nepal in Kathmandu. I have been asked to bring the class back again in October of 2010.
Something you didn't know about me:
I am also a certifeied SCUBA diver. I also taught SCUBA for more than 15 years.
Favorite website:
How I found
Reference from Utah Council on Citizen Diplomacy
What I want to achieve here:
As I listed earlier, I want to offer my class at a location appropriate to bringing together parties from both sides of the conflict. I propose presenting the class material over several days, at no cost to any of the participants. Following the class presentations, I would like to bring both groups, as a class, to neighborhoods and communities on both sides, to do photographic "field trips." Following the field trips, we would get together as a class and select the best images representing daily life from each commuitiy and make a slide show for anyone wanting to attend. If possible, I'd like to then create a web site where both groups could add images over ensuing time to continue their photo interactions for anyone to view. I feel this would help foster understanding between both groups and help bring about peace.
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At 11:55am on April 20, 2010, Narine Melikyan said…
Thank you, Neil for the response! Glad to see you а part of mepeace. I hope to see you in Israel and also in the participation of invitations from mepeace.
Hope only for the best
At 10:42am on April 12, 2010, Oliver Haack said…
Hello Neil,

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