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Diego Rivera, the Father of Guadalupe
an article by Joanne Tawfilis

I attended an incredible program sponsored by the Mexican Consul General and the Museum of Art in San Diego. Dr. Guadalupe Rivera Marin, the daughter of Diego Rivera came to speak about the murals of her father.

Diego Rivera was an artist that during his life was criticized by the aristocratic population because his art portrayed the lives of the Indigenous and common people. To others, his colorful temperament and political will often seemed to obscure the quality, values, symbols and messages contained in his work.

As Dr. Marin eloquently described the life and work of her father, the entire room was mesmerized by Diego's passion for people. Her words and the large screen with a slide show of her father's works drenched each soul and I felt as if Diego Rivera himself reached into my heart and shared his own frustration and relationship with the apathy of humanity. Now, nearly fifty years since his death, he is known as one of the world's greatest muralists.

Her concluding statements reflected her travels and exposure to work by modern muralists and without denigrating their excellence; she spoke of the violence contained in many of them. She reflected upon issues of current life and times, and how her impressions that children needed to be taught about peace, art, nature, love, kindness, with more emphasis on improving educational systems.

From the depths of me, an emotional tsunami overwhelmed my total being and with tears swelling in my eyes and throat I could only think how Diego Rivera, a man impassioned about his own dream of a Culture of Peace, painted for his people, and how our Art Miles Mural Project ( with more than 50,000 people from over 100 countries were not only painting for the Decade of the Culture of Peace, but had connected with the Father of Guadalupe, and the Father of Murals whose everyday people now paint for him.


Question(s) related to this article:

Promoting a culture of peace on a daily basis, Can conscious decisions to do this really make a difference?

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Latest reader comment:

As PhD student in a Faculty of Education in Brazil, I found very important the discussion on the contribution of education to a peaceful world.

I think peace curriculum is possible since there is respect for cultural diversity, such as ethnical, religious, race, sex, gender and others in school's curricular and pedagogical practices as a means of building/developing values of tolerance and respect. There should be space in curriculum for students's voices, experiences and contributions. This way they will feel respectable and will also learn to respect the others.

Education may contribute a lot since it may help children and youth to become sensitive toward the importance of promoting peace among individuals, groups and nations.

This report was posted on December 28, 2006.