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The Divan Orchestra: Mutual Middle-range Transformation


An international couple builds bridges between enemies by involving them in a process of pacification and, at a deeper level, reconciliation. Following Norbert Elias's notion of double-bind, the influence of musicians and aesthetics on international conflict transformation is analysed. Namely, Edward Said and Daniel Barenboim embodied a middle-range couple in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (between top leadership focusing on high-level negotiations and grassroots actors such as local leaders and non-governmental organizations), via new symbols of integration such as the West-Eastern Divan Workshop and Orchestra (young musicians from Israel and Arab countries), the Barenboim–Said foundation or a musical centre in Ramallah. As a couple, they developed initiatives to change perceptions of others by improving intercultural relations between Israelis, Arabs, and Palestinians, showing that music can play a significant role in conflict resolution. Still, they encountered inhibiting factors in the process of reconciliation, despite their shared views about linking music and politics.
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hal-03398519 , version 1 (22-10-2021)



Frédéric Ramel. The Divan Orchestra: Mutual Middle-range Transformation. Brigitte Vassort-Rousset. Building Sustainable Couples in International Relations. A Strategy Towards Peaceful Cooperation, Palgrave Macmillan, pp.209 - 237, 2014, 9781349445295. ⟨hal-03398519⟩
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