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Peace through Art
an article by Shannon Lankenau

For the last 6 weeks I have had the pleasure of working with a woman by the name of Joanne Tawfilis, who co-founded with her husband, Fouad, a small NGO called "The Art Miles Mural Project". The ultimate goal of Art Miles is to work with children from all around the globe to paint 12 miles of murals to be displayed at the great pyramids of Egypt in 2010. Each of the 12 miles represents a different theme which seeks to symbolize either a group of people in the world or a global movement. Several examples are "The Multicultural Diversity Mile", "The Environmental Mile", and the "Indigenous People's Mile".

Like the Culture of Peace News Network, Art Miles supports the UNESCO International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non Violence for Children of the World (2001-2010). What I found to be most amazing is that this project is constructive way to protest war and injustice in the world. Rather than reacting violently against war and injustice, the Art Miles project seeks to do the opposite. By bringing together 12 miles of wonderful art painted all over the world, the project is actually creating peace. It points to our human capability of deeply understanding one another through a language that we all speak and ultimately achieving world peace through art.

I jumped at the opportunity to join in on the project because I strongly believe that it is the children of the world, our next generation, that can make peace in the world. These children and artists have proven, though Art Miles, that they have the capacity to make progress in the global movement for a culture of peace. If you are interested in learning more about the project you can visit the Art Miles web site at:


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 .

This report was posted on April 10, 2006.