- 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 symbolicsignificance) 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, includingmusic, literature, film, photography, sculpture, andpaintings. The meaning of art is explored in a branch of philosophy known as aesthetics, whereas disciplines such as anthropology, sociology andpsychology analyze its relationship with humans and generations.
Traditionally, the term art was used to refer to any skill or mastery. This conception changed during theRomantic 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")
Example: 2002 oil painting by Austrian Werner Horvath called the Garden of Peace. Depicts Hannah Arendt, Mahatma Gandhi, Bertha von Suttner and Immanuel Kant (pictured below).
- 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: Watch 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.