Issue 3/2024

Future Coexistence

The idea and practice of largely non-violent coexistence is currently undergoing persistent tests. The idea of peaceful togetherness across ideological or ethnic-political boundaries has become a distant prospect, and not just since Hamas’ horrific terrorist attack on Israel, to name one obvious source of conflict. What makes this ominous situation even more difficult is the nowadays widely dominant mode of polarization, which subjects almost every statement with regard to the aforementioned catastrophe to a compulsion to confess, or take sides.

How are viable attempts at mediation possible in such a charged climate of opinion? How can a future coexistence be envisaged, beyond all real political separation and partisan fixation? And can artistic approaches possibly provide blueprints that have long since escaped politics or other social actors, even resolutely transcending their imaginative spaces?

The issue "Future Coexistence" addresses these questions with a deliberately limited focus on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Knowing that the historical complexity of this conflict cannot be adequately addressed in the given context, we want to take a calculated risk: together with artists and civil society initiatives from the region – regardless of their ethnic or religious backgrounds – we want to reflect on how to live together in peace and dignity. How, to name one of the main objectives here, can a future coexistence be projected without immediately falling into mutual accusations and insinuations, while the memory of past catastrophes must undoubtedly be kept alive? Or to put it another way: what even more radical, perhaps universalist idea is needed to renounce any militaristic or ethno-nationalist interpretation of the conflict once and for all? Questions like these form the background, to be elucidated from multiple perspectives, of this fall issue.

Publication date: September 16, 2024