Inside Story: The World’s Biggest Eye Contact Experiment 2015

There is a peace that naturally forms between beings when we recognise ourselves in the other. War is not possible from this place. Just one minute can take you and I there. Just last month, over 100,000 people in 150 different cities tried it for themselves as a way to rebuild a sense of human connection  in public. How? No words, no judgement, just one minute of eye contact.

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Emotion Flowing in Mexico City

What seemed like a simple idea of sharing a minute’s eye contact with a stranger on the same day as other cities around the world quickly revealed something much deeper about our innate desire to connect and be seen. In a world saturated in conditions of approval, what we crave is an opportunity to feel loved and complete exactly as we are. The eye contact experiment allows us to sit and be seen, deeply seen without the need to jump through hoops of expectation.

Stereotypes Crumbling by Adam Tetens

Stereotypes Crumbling by Adam Tetens

Within the first week of The Liberators International posting the template online, hundreds of global citizens courageously put their hands up to host in their own cities. The founder of the movement Peter Sharp, said “it was a universal call-out to the daring culture shifters, what we never expected was how quickly entire families whole-heartedly jumped on board.” 

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Lovestorm in Vienna by Alexander Falschlehner

As the sun travelled the Earth on the 15th of October, so did the experiment. Nerves rose as the hosts, videographers, photographers and participants collectively jumped into the unknown. Ice cold sheets in Oslo, heavyweight rainfall in Vienna, political turbulence in Tel Aviv and fear of judgement at a local country pumpkin festival to name a few.

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Prague, Czech Republic by Lancelot Purdue

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The event started in New Zealand and rippled its way across the globe with an outpouring of emotion, love and support streaming from the experiment event pages.

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Connection found in New Zealand

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It didn’t come easy, Dee the organiser from Hong Kong had a tense moment during 5pm rush hour where she was asked to shut it down by a local police officer. She courageously stepped up and explained the peaceful intent to the man. With reason, he ended up protecting the participants for the rest of the day.

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Bounce to Fortaleza in Brazil which is ranked the 7th most dangerous city in the world and Victor bravely set the space for the community to experience the connection.

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The public were quite simply left in awe by the deeply unifying magic sharing a minute’s eye contact brought.

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Cross cultural understanding in Munich.

The Liberators International have since created a 2minute global video online for free here.

What this demonstrates is that beneath the surface of what may seem like separation lays a much deeper desire to feel safe, accepted and loved for are all that we are. Deep down we just want to feel whole and loved exactly as we are.  Many of us are just waiting for the chance to express it.

Join the Liberators International next global experiment here or create your own experiment here.

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