Last time we focused on paintings related to peace. Today, we look at peace and art as it relates to music.
What do you think it is about music that gets people going?
- gets your blood pumping
- stirs the senses
- can set or change your mood
- can set or change your mind - lyrics, sound, repetition and formula of flow
- Different interpretations of peace art: Anti-war songs
Example: Wikipedia has a long list of anti-war songs that touch upon some major events in history. Some are related to calls to action against a particular conflict and others broadly promote peace.
Some of the contents of the list are songs related to the Cold War, Vietnam War, Mexican-American war, war in the Falklands, and the Contras in Latin America, among many others.
What is your perspective of songs related to these conflicts?
Some things to think about when identifying songs for peace in your own searches is to consider the author of the song. One of the things we talked about in the first session for peace and art was that it is important to seek to understand the artist behind the piece, because the concept for peace is related to how that person is influenced by the world around him or her.
When you look at any of the songs listed in the link, take note how you feel- does the title give you a sense of what to expect? If you listen to the song or read the lyrics, do you walk away with a greater desire toward peace? These kinds of observations are crucial so we are able to start discerning what peace sounds and feels like so we can take action to spread that message in our communities.
Example: La Tierra Misma (The same ball of clay)
La Tierra Misma is a song on the project web-page endorsed by UNESCO to, in the words of the website about us page “encourage people to think about peace, talk about peace, and write a new song that we will collect and self-publish in a book. These songs will promote peace, cultural acceptance and understanding for those who work towards peace throughout the world.”
A bit of wording:
Vivimos en la tierra misma
Estrellas en la noche
Sol durante el dia
Vivimos en la tierra misma
Y todos son uno
We're all living on the same ball of clay
Same stars at night
Same sun in the day
We're all living on the same ball of clay
And all the world is one
This planet is home to six billion or so
It turns around and around kind of slow
Through the deserts, the prairies
And the mountains we go
And all the world is one
Vivimos en la tierra misma
Estrellas en la noche
Sol durante el dia
Vivimos en la tierra misma
Y todos son uno
You can subscribe and get notifications of new songs and even submit a song or sign the guestbook.
Other things you can find on the site are peace CDs you can buy, links to peace websites, including music and an archive of peace events & peace news- those are outdated, but you can get an idea on how you may choose to write about peace or put on events to spread the message of peace.
- Does art in the form of music really make a difference in matters of peace?
- Consider the idea of a global anthem, what would it be, or would there be one?
Author Steve McCardell has a project he calls the Global Anthem project. The project grew out of a science fiction novel that he wrote. The novel is set in 2045, where he envisions that the world has merged into one government and have a single anthem like how each nation has its own anthem.
- When you think about anthems, they unite people with a common sense of identity, and purpose. Steve McCardell has incorporated ideas of peace within the global anthem and his lyrics are worth taking a look at.
- What is cool about McCardell’s anthem project is that he has it open for people to take and transform it in ways that will be more inclusive. You can check out his global anthem project and challenge your own thoughts here.
- Examine art along the 8 Peace Keys, it may give us some things to think about differently
1. Foster a culture of peace through education - Developing attitudes and skills for living together in harmony, putting an end to exclusion and oppression.
Music can shed light on a population that is oppressed, have the opportunity to paint a mental picture with the melody and even the video, which can introduce new ideas that the artist either hints at within the music or can be assumed from the music.
- Internationally acclaimed is Milyamba by Sister Fa. Sister Fa is from Senegal and her song Milyamba tells of the hardship of women in the countryside of Senegal.
- The video brings to light the contrast for people who live in cities and experience life differently. The lyrics and video forces us to think about peace in connection to social factors and the dignity of those that are still waiting for better opportunities that also provide the backbone to the success of the rest of us.
2. Promote sustainable economic and social development - Making sure that progress and development are good for everyone and for the environment.
- Art can break down complex ideas like sustainable development, which requires for us to deal with the economy, social structure and environment to create peace that is lasting for our world systems and us within it. Something that takes years of study to fully grasp can be portrayed in a few minutes with stronger images to people than if they were to learn about it in a classroom.
- Example: Sustainablility song by EEProject
- Famous song that got the world to think about the destruction happening around the planet from environmental abuse is Michael Jackson’s Earth Song.
3. Promote respect for all human rights - Respecting the rights and dignity of each human being
- Music can make us think about the huge task of creating human rights for all in ways that make sense for our every day lives.
- UNICEF (United Nations Childrens Fund) has a song that was created by one of their ambassadors a few years ago to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The song is called Lullaby and it’s a powerful message through a simple concept.
Think of lullabies - soothing, stir up feelings of safety, security, provision, trust as they are associated with people the child trust like a family care-giver (mother, father, etc) or extended care-giver like a teacher or baby sitter.
4. Ensure equality between women and men - Ensuring an equal place for women and men in building society
- Music combined with movement can be a powerful message to bridge gaps between genders. Although this particular peace key identifies men and women only, let us remember that gender, whether we acknowledge it or not, is fluid, and the key here is inclusivity in having equal footing for everyone in society to start off with. It does not mean that everyone will use the same opportunities, but it does mean that everyone should have access to those opportunities without any prejudiced barriers to achieving them. For example, some women want to have traditional relationships where they stay at home and men work. There is nothing wrong with that, if it works for your relationship, then great. However, if that woman decides she wants to work, she should have access to the job market in the same way that a man does and should earn equal pay.Video interpretation of peace through equality - Video is just under 9 minutes and starts with the concept that there is a bird with 2 wings, one wing being the man, the other being a woman. Without both wings equally developed, the bird cannot fly.
Dance is Choreographed and performed by Reza and Laura Mostmand. Quote used in the beginning comes from one of the principles of the Baha'i Faith. Inspired by the quote by Abdul-Bahá:
"...The world of humanity has two wings—one is women and the other men. Not until both wings are equally developed can the bird fly. Should one wing remain weak, flight is impossible. Not until the world of women becomes equal to the world of men in the acquisition of virtues and perfections, can success and prosperity be attained as they ought to be."
(Selections from the Writings of Abdul-Bahá', sec. 227, p. 302)
Bahai information community page that explains the religion as having a single God called Bahaullah. “The central theme of Bahá'u'lláh's message is that humanity is one single race and that the day has come for its unification in one global society. - The page is multi-lingual if you’re interested in understanding more about this religion and how it relates to the artists that created the dance to give us a profound message about the need for equality between men and women.
The dance gives us an image that makes it easy for us to understand why equality between men and women is important. Without both men and women allowed to develop equally in our societies, we are only a shell of what we could be and wellness first starts with a woman as the nucleus of the family.
Peace and Art
- Definition we used for culture of peace
is a set of values, attitudes, modes of behavior and ways of life that reject violence and prevent conflicts by tackling their root causes to solve problems through dialogue and negotiation among individuals, groups and nations
- How does art fit into the scope of peace?
Definition of art:
- Wikipedia: Art is the product or process of deliberately arranging items (often with symbolic significance) in a way that influences and affects one or more of the senses, emotions, and intellect. It encompasses a diverse range of human activities, creations, and modes of expression, including music, literature, film, photography, sculpture, and paintings. The meaning of art is explored in a branch of philosophy known as aesthetics, whereas disciplines such as anthropology, sociology and psychology analyze its relationship with humans and generations.Traditionally, the term art was used to refer to any skill or mastery. This conception changed during the Romantic period, when art came to be seen as "a special faculty of the human mind to be classified with religion and science". Generally, art is made with the intention of stimulating thoughts and emotions.
We can imagine that art can effect peace as we’ve been examining it in a number of ways:
- Promote dialogue - think of a controversial piece of art work or an artwork that becomes a symbol of pride. Artwork can portray the message of an widespread idea visually.
- Art can reject violence through visual defiance. Such examples is when you see the fist that can mean for solidarity, people can think to stand-up for what is right it can be associated with non-violence, but it can be misused too.
Artwork would have to be well thought out to minimize the change that people could misuse it for something negative.
Artwork can challenge root causes to problems with bold or subtle statements on how to resolve it.
Example: 1985 - Golden Rule Mosaic, United Nations, New York City, New York (USA). Presented by first lady Nancy Reagan for the UN's 40th anniversary. A creation of Venetian artists based on a painting by American artist Norman Rockwell [1894-1978]. Depicts people of all races, religions, creeds & hues. Imparts the message of the Golden Rule ("Do unto others as you would have them do unto you")
Question- When you see this painting, how does it make you feel? There are people of all ages, colors, cultures and gender. How does the inscription make you feel when compared with the image? Does the message come across strongly? Why/why not?
Example: 2002 oil painting by Austrian Werner Horvath called the Garden of Peace. Depicts Hannah Arendt, Mahatma Gandhi, Bertha von Suttner and Immanuel Kant.
A bit about each person to give an idea of each figure’s significance:- Hanna Arendt- American Political professor and philosopher that wrote such literature as On Revolution and On Violence. Talked a lot about the connections between structured violence that includes language and politics. - Mahatma Ghandi- Leader for peace, lead the peaceful revolution for India’s independence from the British. One of his legacies is the idea to “be the change you want to see in the world.”- Bertha von Suttner- 1st female Nobel peace prize winner, Austrian Countess that wrote a book called Lay Down your Arms about the effects of war, founded the Austrian Peace Society and influenced Alfred Nobel to start what we now know as the Nobel Peace Prize- Immanuel Kant - German Philosopher, well known for a number of western philosophical contributions, including his thoughts on perpetual peace, which we know it as world peace. The idea that peace can be permanently established.
Observation: Each person represents a “flower” in the garden of peace, and the person actually stands for a type of peace necessary: Arendt represents the need to eliminate violence structures; Ghandi representes non-violent resistance, Bertha von Sutter represents the cessation of war and Immanuel Kant represents permanent peace.
What do you see when you look at the painting? Would you have done something different? What? Why?
Artwork that you know...
Are there any examples of art work you can think of that when people see it, they become motivated to think differently and/or to change their actions?
- How does the brain understand art? May be helpful to know so that when we attempt to know why certain images move and inspire us to make change? It is also helpful so that when we make art work in any form we can be effective in spreading our message.
- Read a wired science article where some researchers tried to understand why some art gets sold at greater value than others, what made people feel that one type of art was more valuable?
- 14 volunteers to look at 50 different Rembrandt paintings with only 15 seconds to look, while a machine measured the waves in the part of their brains that is responsible for how we see and make sense of the world. The machine that would show the paintings would tell the person if it was a copy or an original version. - Made it interesting to tell half of the people that what was a real painting was a copy so they can tell different brain responses. - They found that people didn’t have a difference in what they understood about the art visually in general, but when something was perceived as an original, it was perceived as valuable.- Many areas of the brain come together to make a judgment about art and its value. The judgment your brain makes is based on your own values, and ideas on how the world works. The article says at the end “we only see the beauty because we are looking for it.”
What’s interesting about the article, which is very technical with science terms, is that for us, we can begin to understand that artwork that resembles peace can only be fully appreciated if you look for the message according to the view of the artist. This means we cannot stay in our own path of thinking because we will not be able to fully connect with the artist and message given in the artwork.
Certainly the way you view the world is valuable, but so is the way someone else does. When we talk about peace, which is undeniably linked with the practice of human rights, we have to make up our minds and commit our actions to seeking to understand the way other people view the world. If that becomes a habit, we can then extend that understanding to understand many ideas about peace and can then interpret art that expresses that with more clarity.
What are your thoughts, do you think that the research is really representative of how you have experienced or think you would experience art? - Have you been challenged to view peace through the eyes of art that changed your view of that place, person, population?
Facilitator Example: Watched a documentary on Jaffa, which is arguably the birthplace of the modern day source of tension within the Israel-Palestinian challenges toward peace. The documentary is called Jaffa- The Orange’s Clockwork, an excellent film that is available to watch on LinkTV: http://www.linktv.org/programs/jaffa-the-oranges-clockwork
- What was interesting was the art that depicted the oranges of Jaffa, which the land is known for. I began to understand while watching the film that the orange can be a symbol of loss, destruction, violation of rights, stealing and gross injustice.
- But what if the orange became a symbol of peace? How would that work?
Next time, we’ll examine art as it relates to the peace keys and explore some different ways artists have brought peace into the discussion of their communities.
Petals of Peace Education
In relation to our discussion of the eight peace keys, we have also discussed another model called the Petals of Peace Education. We have highlighted that both models highlight their goals to promote peace and development in various regions of the world. Furthermore, we discussed the difference underlying in both models. The UN Peace Keys emphasizes on the importance of education for sustainable development.
1. Dismantling the culture of war
2. Living with justice and compassion
3. Building cultural respect, reconciliation & solidarity
4. Promoting human rights and responsibilities
5. Living in harmony with the earth
6. Cultivating inner peace
Peace work and initiatives in the world
The promotion of peace and development can take form through various mediums such as initiatives, programs and policies by individuals, local government units (LGUs), national government, policy groups, cultural & scientific work, educational efforts, business ventures, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), international organizations, and other movements in the promotion of the UN Peace Keys. In the past sessions, we have discussed examples of peace initiatives around the world. Furthermore, we came to realize that everyone could contribute to the promotion of peace. It takes a matter of passion, dedication and action to make this happen. Now is the time to explore your own passion for peace development in your communities.
What are various conflicts that surface in your community? How are various institutions responding to it? How will you be able to help in the resolution of this problem?
We would like to let you know that our Stars are all experiencing challenges to their participation in the program at this time. Sometimes life throws us curve balls, but as a program EOTO World is dedicated to continue to spread the message of peace in the ways intended with this program.
Therefore, we will continue with our live online chats via VOKLE and post notes here. We accept POP Stars on a rolling basis, so spread the word for next year's POP star program!
Without further adieu, here are notes from Session 3 in January, diving in deeper to peace and its significance world wide:
In the past sessions we have discussed and explored definitions of the culture of peace, Peace Keys and how we have seen these principles put into context through our own communities. However, in the last two sessions for January, we explore a wider perspective on how the culture of peace, and the UN Peace Keys are lived by in other regions of the world.
Key current issues discussed:
- Myanmar continues to push forward resolutions for peace and development.
On January 12, the US restores diplomatic relations with Myanmar as a response to the new civil government’s campaign towards political and economic changes. In lieu of this, a ceasefire agreement has been pushed forward between the Myanmar government and the Karen ethnic rebel groups. Furthermore, there was a release of 651 prominent political prisoners. Recently, the US senators have considered lifting some of the sanction on the country.
- Links to resource articles:
The NY Times
Senators lifting sanctions of Myanmar
Do you see a promising future for a change in the authoritarian ruled-Myanmar? What are the perceived challenges and the ways to surpass these challenges towards peace development in the region?
To what extent of optimism or pessimism do you see of South Sudan’s case? Would peace and their deserved independence return to their hands? In what ways do you think this will be achieved?
- South Sudan is starting to be torn again
The recently proclaimed independent South Sudan has started to enter the whirlpool of conflict due to domestic tensions. On December 31, 2011, there were a thousand Neur fights poured into Pibor. Furthermore, the rampage continued until January 3rd in which many people died. Increasing domestic tensions are felt as the Murle fighters regroup and cause threats to several villages.
- Resource article
3. Development of peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians
Early this January 2012, peace talks were discussed in Amman, Jordan. The leaders of both countries have agreed with the quartet to come forward with a comprehensive proposal in terms of resolving issues on territory and security. As these proposals were presented to each party, division was caused in the terms of resolution. On January 28, details emerge of Israeli offer on two-state solution in which the Palestinians did not agree with.
How difficult is it to affect peace and understanding among actors of separate interests?
Peace talks considered in Pakistan
Pakistan civilian and military leaders med Tuesday to discuss policy toward Afghanistan, including peace talks with the Taliban militants. According to the New York Times, Pakistan Foreign Minister Ms. Khar plans to visit Afghanistan to discuss the “on-going reconciliation process,” that is an alleged euphemism for possible peace talks with the Talibans.
A Whiff of Reconciliation
In Siem Reap Cambodia, tourists especially South Korean visitors go to the Pyongyang Restaurant that provides an arena of North Korean food, culture and arts. Amidst strong tensions between North Korea and South Korea, a picture of peaceful cohabitation and a whiff of reconciliation are demonstrated between both nationals interacting in this very own restaurant.
Resource video clip
France, breaking with NATO, will speed exit off Afghanistan
How do you see this move of France? Will the other NATO members follow the same decision? To what extent will this bring peace and development in the Middle East?