Chelsea Wilkinson is a Peace Studies PhD student in the School of Religion at Trinity College Dublin. Her academic background consists of religious studies, psychology, geopolitics, conflict transformation, and the expressive arts. She earned her master’s degree in Expressive Arts and Conflict Transformation at the European Graduate School in Saas Fee, Switzerland, in which she examined the peace-building potential of mobile arts in increasing meaningful intergroup contact in geopolitical and ethnic conflicts.
Chelsea specializes in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but has extended her research to include ethno-sectarian segregation in Slovakia, Lebanon, Northern Ireland, and Iraq. For her doctoral project, she is using an interdisciplinary approach to examine the long-term impact of the West Bank Barrier on Palestinian identity – how it shapes perceptions of oneself, one’s community, and the “other,” and how the barrier is interacted with by the local and international community. Ultimately, Chelsea hopes to further bridge the practice of expressive arts with conflict theories to address deeply rooted systemic issues such as racism, xenophobia, and sectarianism in societies around the world today.