The Role of Media in Building Cultures of Peace
Jessica Devaney is the Communications and Production Manger at Just Vision, an organization that creates documentary films, multimedia and educational tools profiling Palestinian and Israeli civilians working nonviolently to end the occupation and resolve the conflict. Jessica oversees Just Vision’s online strategy, including web development and new media engagement; design and creation of press materials; and manages the post-production of all documentary film and digital video materials. Jessica was the Associate Producer and Assistant Editor of Budrus, a documentary film hailed as “This year’s must-see documentary” in The New York Times. Budrus was screened at dozens of film festivals around the world and received prizes including the San Francisco International Film Festival’s Audience Award; Silverdocs Film Festival’s Witness Award; Pesaro Film Festival’s Amnesty Italia Award; the Festival des Libertes Prize; Bergen International Film Festival’s Checkpoints Award; as well as Special Jury Mentions at the Tribeca Film Festival, Jerusalem International Film Festival, and Documenta Madrid.
Jessica has been working on integrating digital technology in social change advocacy projects since 2002, when she founded and coordinated the web development and media outreach for No Plain Jane, a women’s body positivity initiative. She has been involved in projects including coordinating exchange programs for non-native students in cooperation with First Nations reservations in Alaska and Arizona; consulting on online strategy and web development for a domestic violence awareness-raising campaign; and researching digital advocacy strategies employed by LGBT communities around the world. In 2010, she participated in the Bay Area Video Coalition Producers’ Institute for New Media Technologies.
Jessica graduated from Wake Forest University in 2006 with an MA in Religion and Society, and received a grant to conduct extensive research on Palestinian and Israeli women’s movements and interview numerous veteran feminist activists in preparation for her thesis on joint feminist peacebuilding efforts in the region. Jessica’s interest in creative unarmed resistance led her to produce a short documentary video installation, Beauty in the Uprising, which, through interviews with Palestinian and Israeli artists, explores the role of art in resistance, conflict resolution, and social change. She completed an additional year of study at Georgetown University’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies in 2008 where she focused on postcolonial feminist theory and unarmed resistance in the Arab world. She has published articles on these topics in the Journal of Middle Eastern Women’s Studies and Practicing Anthropology. Jessica continues to research and present papers at academic conferences.