Almost two decades ago, American psychologist Arthur Aron conducted a study on intimacy in interpersonal relationships, discovering that when two people looked into each other's eyes for four minutes, it brings them closer together. It's with this study in mind that Amnesty Poland staged their latest video, Look Beyond Borders, which features refugees and Europeans who were asked to stare into each other's eyes for four minutes.
"The experiment was conducted in Berlin," Amnesty explains. "The city, which - first of all - is a symbol of overcoming the divisions, and secondly, seems to be the centre of the contemporary Europe. We wanted the movie created on the basis of the experiment to be as symbolic as possible – and to touch upon the general divisions between people.
The experiment participants were ordinary people. The situations were not staged; we wanted to get natural, spontaneous reactions. The people sitting opposite each other had not known each other before and saw each other for the first time during the experiment. What is important, the refugees mostly came from Syria and had not been living in Europe for longer than a year."
The result of the video is moving, and certainly succeeds in portraying the humanity in all of us.