Painting for Peace: Kids Guernica project
an article by Alba Sanfeliu
More than 200 children between 4 and 18 years old
from the Federation of Neighbourhood Associations
of Manresa (Barcelona ) participated in the past
year in an international children's artproject
called Kids Gernica, intiated by the Municipal
Council of Solidarity of the City of Manresa. The
initiative was born in Japan to raise awareness
and spread the culture of peace to children
through artistic expression, encouraging them to
design and paint peace murals based on that of Guernica by Pablo Ruiz
click on photo to enlarge
The work was carried out in two phases. The first
was a workshop to reflect on conflicts and peace,
through several activities for the children. They
were then asked to draw a picture about peace, and
afterwards they were presented the picture of
'Guernica'. They also looked at the exhibition 'Drawing armed conflicts, drawing peace' consisting
of drawings by children in countries affected by
armed conflict, which got them to talk about the
war and peace in general terms, and to focus the
analysis to the present context. Through
dialogue, everyday situations were identified as
peace and violence situations and what can be done
to promote peace. Then they watched the short film
'Chalk Horses' by David Canovas on the arrival of
war in a country .
Once all the drawings were made about peace, we
asked the help of the artist Susanna Ayala to make
a final composition using the most representative
elements of peace drawn by the children
themselves. The design was then printed on fabric
as an outline form, starting a second phase in
which children painted the mural with paint.
On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the end
of WWII there was a presentation of the
international project in the city of Nagasaki ,
from 6 to August 10, 2013. The mural from Manresa
along with other murals from Nagasaki and Japan,
China, India and Romania, was shown by the river
where hundreds died seeking shelter from the
nuclear bombing in 1945. On October 5, the mural
was presented in the city of Manresa and for the
rest of the year and during 2014 it will be
displayed at various locations around the city.
(Click here for a Spanish version of this article)
Question(s) related to this article:
Do the arts create a basis for a culture of peace?, What is, or should be, their role in our movement?
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Latest reader comment:
Yes, the arts do create a basis for a culture of peace.
The question I would raise is where are the visual artists who have produced a Guernica like painting of Felluja? Paintings last longer than photographs which are too often fleeting.
Do the poets against the war meet annually?
I caught a bit of an interesting tv show which featured world class artists such as Wole Soyinka speaking in Israel/Palestine about ways to further the peace movement there. Did anyone else see the entire show?
I hope a local Peace Day could emulate the UN opening ceremony .