In a world often overshadowed by conflict, the ‘Look Beyond Borders’ 4-minute experiment conducted 7 years ago in Berlin re-emerges today as a poignant reminder of our shared humanity, resonating deeply amidst the ongoing Israel-Gaza discord. Watch the incredibly touching video below.
The Experiment of Connection
Inspired by psychologist Arthur Aron’s discovery that four minutes of uninterrupted eye contact can foster a profound connection between individuals, an experiment titled “Look Beyond Borders” was orchestrated by Amnesty International Poland along with Polish ad agency DDB&Tribal.
Conducted in April 2016, the experiment brought together recently arrived refugees from Syria and Somalia and individuals from Belgium, Italy, Germany, Poland, and the UK. Seated across from each other, engaging in a silent yet expressive dialogue through the windows of their souls, participants experienced an overwhelming sense of connection transcending their apparent differences.
Berlin: A Symbolic Ground
Berlin, a city that epitomizes the overcoming of divisions, provided a resonant backdrop for this experiment. Conducted near the historical Cold War-era crossing, Checkpoint Charlie, the setting mirrored the broader theme of bridging the gaps that seemingly divide humanity.
As Hanna Waśko, one of the campaign organizers from ad agency Big Picture, remarked, the experiment in Berlin symbolized giving people time to understand each other better and to get to know one another, fostering a milieu of understanding amidst a world rife with division.
The Unveiling of Common Humanity
The video, which has garnered over 1 million views since its release, captures the spontaneous, human interactions between individuals meeting for the first time. The raw emotion and empathy displayed in these encounters remind us of the shared human experience that binds us all, irrespective of the distinct narratives that often threaten to pull us apart.
The “Look Beyond Borders” video serves as a poignant reminder that borders exist between countries, not people, urging a perspective shift towards a more compassionate and understanding global community.
Discover more about individuals and initiatives bridging divides and fostering human connections in our feature article about Little Amal’s Walk… a touching journey that challenges perceptions about refugees and inspires hope. Discover how this inspiring walk is making waves and sparking positive change here.