Here are excerpts from the Wikipedia article about the International Network of Museums for Peace.
The Network was established following a conference in Bradford in 1992.
Between 1992 and 2009, the network was very informal, sustained by occasional newsletters between international conferences. As the number of peace museums worldwide increased, however, the network needed to formalise its structures. Steps towards addressing this were taken at the Gernika conference of 2005, including changing the name of the organisation to the International Network of Museums for Peace (INMP).
In 2009 the INMP was established as a foundation (nonprofit) in The Hague and, with the support of the municipality, opened its secretariat and archive in the Bertha von Suttner Building near the Peace Palace in 2010. Since 2014 the INMP, as an international NGO, has been granted special Consultative Status from the UN ECOSOC, and gained ANBI-status in the Netherlands. The foundation consists of a General Coordinator, ten international Executive Board members and twelve international members in the Advisory Committee.
In 2018, the INMP Office in the Hague was closed, and moved to the Kyoto Museum for World Peace at Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, Japan.
Here is the message according to the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, who heads up the “The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival” reviving the campaign that was called for by Dr. King back in 1968.
Speaking on the “Democracy Now!” news hour, Rev. Barber reflected on how little has truly changed since King’s time: “Fifty years later, we have nearly 100 million poor and working poor people in this country, 14 million poor children. … Fifty years later, we have less voting rights protection than we had on August 6, 1965,” he said. “[Republicans] have filibustered fixing the Voting Rights Act now for over four years, over 1,700 days.”
“Every state where there’s high voter suppression,” Barber continued, “also has high poverty, denial of health care, denial of living wages, denial of labor union rights, attacks on immigrants, attacks on women.”
Barber says the answer is fusion politics: “We have black, we have white, we have brown, young, old, gay, straight, Jewish, Muslim, Christians, people of faith, people not of faith, who are coming together,” creating what he calls the “Third Reconstruction. . . ”
Barber sees transformation of the Deep South on the near horizon, but doesn’t claim it will be easy. Recent court victories against both racial and political gerrymandering in North Carolina will further empower African-Americans and other traditionally marginalized groups. But the real work will be done not in the courts, but in the streets. . . .
Martin Luther King Jr. was robbed of life by a sniper’s bullet 50 years ago. But on this anniversary of his birth, this national holiday that people fought decades for, his vital work to empower the poor, lives on.
While it’s not clear that war toys promote a culture of war, it is clear that the reverse is true, i.e. the culture of war promotes war toys.
Critics of war play frequently treat play as if it occurs in such a social vacuum, with little consideration of the broader societal context in which play happens. Social and cultural values shift with time and it is foolhardy to think that toys and play will not follow these trends. Increasing levels of aggression within toys have to be seen as part of a wider trend within society towards desensitisation of violence. Today, violence is brought ever closer to home through the intensity of round-the-clock news footage of armed conflict and incidents of terrorism, and the use of cultures of fear by world leaders to sustain particular (geo)political ideologies.
When reflecting upon the trend reported in the study, economic factors also have to be taken into consideration. Toy companies have to produce a saleable product – and this tends to be a product reflective of wider societal trends. With the drive towards franchising and diversification of target audiences as marketing strategies (as seen with the Lego brand, prompting the likes of Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter themed play sets, and the targeting of adult consumers) digital media is leading developments in non-digital media. Here we are seeing trends towards fantasy scenarios centred on overcoming imaginary evils.
Scholars have shown this is part of wider cultures of fear within the post 9/11 era. Toys and digital media are, therefore, reflecting the social and political life of their time and contributing to the prevailing geopolitical climate. Childhood is not a sphere of innocence magically shielded from the wider world; it plays an active part in shaping it.
Here are the CPNN articles on this subject:
To begin this discussion, see the videos from three people who first developed the culture of peace concept at UNESCO and the United Nations, Federico Mayor Zaragoza, Anwarul Chowdhury and David Adams:
This discussion question applies to the following articles:
Dr. Ada Aharoni’s considers that through poetry, people from both sides of conflicts, might come to understand each other better, and that this understanding can lead to the promotion of peace, as she explains below:
THE POWER OF THE POEM AND PEACE THROUGH POETRY
“The real profound difference between human beings is their Culture: mainly, their Cultural Heritage, Literature, Poetry, Language, Values, Norms, Traditions and their History. In the case of people in long conflicts – like the Israelis and Palestinians – feelings of fear, mistrust and lack of understanding have been piling up in their hearts and minds over the years, on both sides.
Only a suitable vehicle that can reach and profoundly penetrate through those layers of mistrust, suspicion and fear, can overcome those separating boundaries and build bridges of trust and respect for each other’s humanity. The best vehicle for this delicate operation is the magic and healing of the Poem, with its words of comprehension, feelings, care and tenderness. The poem has the marvellous ability to create bridges of trust and love.
Peace Poetry can also impart the important and crucial message that we all belong to one family, the family of humanity, and that violence and terror only lead to chaos, destruction, sorrow and deep pain and misery on all sides.
In every conflict there are two stories. The Poem of Peace, because of its wonderful ability to present both sides in all its reality, pain, hope and yearning for peace – can lead to mutual recognition and reconciliation, and to the building of confidence, trust, respect and love.”
Here are some films recommended by our readers. To add more, see the comment field below.
The following comes from the website of Signis, World Catholic Organization for Communication – Media for a Culture of Peace. They sponsor a number of film festivals around the world which emphasize the culture of peace.
Every day the media bring us more news of conflict, acts of terrorism, massacres, racism or xenophobia. It seems that we are drowning in a culture of hatred and war.
Let’s imagine instead for a moment that the world’s radio and TV stations were reporting on, and devoting a significant part of their programmes and broadcasts to gestures of reconciliation and acts of peacemaking. So alongside the culture of violence and war, which, of course, we cannot ignore, because it is part of what makes us human, they would develop in the media a Culture of Peace.
This does not have to remain only a dream. If every member of SIGNIS, radio, video and television producer, webmaster, educator, researcher and trainer, got involved in making programmes on those acts which are contributing to peace and in promoting gestures of reconciliation… all of us would have helped to increase the possibilities of helping to make the world a more peaceful place.
That is why the SIGNIS delegates, during their meeting in Cape Town in 2003, choose as the main objective for SIGNIS to work to promote a Culture of Peace through the media.
As described in the book by Dietrich Fischer listed in the right column, Johan Galtung is indeed the most perceptive peace researcher of our time.
Not only did he predict the fall of the Soviet Union quite precisely, but he has also predicted the fall of the American empire. Here are excerpts from his 2004 article, On the Coming Decline and Fall of the US Empire.
The prediction of the decline and fall of the US Empire is based on the synergy of 14 contradictions, and the time span for the contradictions to work their way through decline to fall was estimated at 25 years in the year 2000. There are more contradictions because the US Empire is more complex, and the time span is longer also because it is more sophisticated. After the first months of President George W. Bush (selected) the time span was reduced to 20 years because of the way in which he sharpened so many of the contradictions posited the year before, and because his extreme singlemindedness made him blind to the negative, complex synergies. . . .
(Editor’s note: As of 2018, Professor Galtung holds to his prediction that the American Empire cannot be maintained beyond 2020: “Trump contributes by making USA an impossible leader to follow. As long as he is in command–and nobody knows how long that will last, before he is removed by impeachment, Amendment 25, or the old US tradition of killing inconvenient presidents–rebuilding the US empire is difficult. . . . In short, I stand by my prediction that by Year 2020 the US empire is gone.”)
Here is the list of 14 contradictions posited in 2000:
I. Economic Contradictions(US led system WB/IMF/WTO NYSE Pentagon)
1. between growth and distribution: overproduction relative to demand, 1.4 billion below $ 1/day, 100.000 die/day, 1/4 of hunger
2. between productive and finance economy (currency, stocks,bonds) overvalued, hence crashes, unemployment, contract work
3. between production/distribution/consumption and nature: ecocrisis, depletion/pollution, global warming
II. Military Contradictions (US led system NATO/TIAP/USA-Japan)
4. between US state terrorism and terrorism: Blowback
5. between US and allies (except UK, D, Japan), saying enough
6. between US hegemony in Eurasia and the Russia India China triangle, with 40% of humanity
7. between US led NATO and EU army: The Tindemans follow-up
III. Political Contradictions (US exceptionalism under God)
8. between USA and the UN: The UN hitting back
9. between USA and the EU: vying for Orthodox/Muslim support
IV. Cultural Contradictions (US triumphant plebeian culture)
10. between US Judeo-Christianity and Islam (25% of humanity; UNSC nucleus has four Christian and none of the 56 Muslim countries).
11. between US and the oldest civilizations (Chinese, Indian, Mesopotamian, Aztec/Inca/Maya)
12. between US and European elite culture: France, Germany, etc.
V. Social Contradictions (US led world elites vs the rest: World Economic Forum, Davos vs World Social Forum, Porto Alegre)
13. between state corporate elites and working classes of unemployed and contract workers. The middle classes?
14. between older generation and youth: Seattle, Washington, Praha, Genova and ever younger youth. The middle generation?
15. To this could be added: between myth and reality.