Category Archives: d-education

How can we carry forward the work of the great peace and justice activists who went before us?

As we look back over the past few years of CPNN articles, we find articles many great peace and justice activists who went before us. The photo above comes from The Elders, the group of leaders organized under the sponsorship of Nelson Mandela before his death. They continue to find ways to carry on his work for peace and justice.

I recall the moment that we learned of the death of Martin Luther King. Immediately, we said “it is our task to make sure that his work goes forward to such a extent that he becomes an even greater force for peace and justice after his death than before!”

And so our participation in the weaving of the grand tapestry of human history ensures an immortality to those who have gone before us. They may have died as physical beings, but the essence of their lives continues to grow and thrive in the work that we do for peace and justice.

In writing my book Psychology for Peace Activists, I draw lessons from the stages of consciousness development of great peace and justice activists (including Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela) than can serve as guidelines for our own development.

– David Adams, CPNN Coordinator

Here are the CPNN articles on this subject:

Johan Galtung: In Memoriam

In memoriam: Betty Reardon (1929-2023)

Daniel Ellsberg Has Passed Away. He Left Us a Message.

In memoriam: Walid Slaïby, co-founder Academic University College for Non-Violence & Human Rights (Lebanon)

Mikhail Gorbachev: The Last Statesman

The Elders mourn the loss of Archbishop Desmond Tutu

English bulletin February 1, 2024

. ARTISTS FOR PEACE . .

The struggle continues to stop the genocidal attacks by Israel against the people of Gaza. The International Court of Justice, responding to the complaint brought by South Africa, has issued orders to Israel to refrain from genocidal actions. Although there is no enforcement mechanism, the ruling reinforces the growing movement demanding a ceasefire.

People around the world continue to protest in solidarity with Palestine. On January 13 there were demonstrations involving up to a half million people, in Washington DC and London, as well as other demonstrations in Paris, Berlin, Rome, Johannesburg, Abuja, Tokyo, Islamabad, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Milan, Dublin, Basel, Amsterdam, Oslo, Uppsala and Tunis.

Artists are playing an important role.

With regard to the genocide against Gaza, artists have mobilized in the UK, US, South Africa, France, Qatar, Dubai, Malaysia, Canada, India, and even in Israel itself. They have staged solidarity events such as murals, exhibitions of paintings, sand sculptures, and the reading of monologues by Gazan youth. Thousands of artists have signed declarations such as that of Musicians for Palestine, Artists for Palestine UK, #MusicForACeasefire, Artists4Ceasefire, and the peace memorandum of artists in Malaysia or they have led events such as the march for peace in Paris.

Singers Mira Awad and Noa, two Israelis, one Arab, the other Jewish, are singing for peace between Israel and Palestine. In December they were featured in a concert of the Berlin Philharmonic.

150 artists, singers, dancers and actors went on stage at the Algiers Opera Boualem Bessaih on January 20 in a gala of solidarity to raise money for Palestine. The event was sold out and broadcast on television.

A special CPNN article is dedicated to the young Palestinian artist Amal Abu al-Sabah who paints murals on the rubble of buildings that have been destroyed, “in order to send a strong message that we will remain on our land and never leave it.”

Responding to the attempts of the German government to ban demonstrations of support for Palestine, hundreds of artists and cultural workers around the world signed a petition calling to boycott German cultural institutions.

Artists are mobilizing for other peace and justice initiatives as well.

In the United States, support for the Black Lives Matter movement is being played out on the major stages of dance. Choreographer Jamar Roberts’s “Ode,” a somber and sensuous dance first performed in 2019 as a response to gun violence, was restaged for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s 65th anniversary in December. Last May, Chanel DaSilva’s “Tabernacle” premiered at the Dallas Black Dance Theatre, fusing Afrofuturism, hip hop, and African dance in a direct response to BLM. And last fall, the French-Malian choreographer Smaïl Kanouté’s “Never Twenty One” made its New York debut, its title borrowed from a BLM slogan.

In Colombia, 45 Singers, poets, dancers and musicians have answered the call of the Office of the High Commissioner for Peace and created an album of music to send a message against violence: “enough is enough”. The album contains a mix of Afro-Colombian rhythms, ordinary songs and rap.

In Turkey, hundreds of artists have called for negotiations on a peaceful solution to the Kurdish question. The declaration “Let us be a voice for peace”, is signed by 564 personalities, including prominent musicians, writers, directors, actresses, photographers and painters. It includes the following statement, “We, the people of art and literature, will not stand by and watch Turkey waste another century, propose to weave together a future in which all ethnic, religious and cultural identities live freely and are not oppressed or subjected to pogroms.”

In France, 121 personalities from the cultural and intellectual world have signed an appeal in support of the Turkish declaration, including among the signatories Annie Ernaux and Edgar Morin, and the “Voice for Peace in Kurdistan” collective organized a solidarity conference in Marseille on Saturday, 13 January.

In Cuba, cultural institutions including Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Art and Industry, the House of the Americas, the House of the Film Festival, the Foundation of New Latin American Cinema, the International Film School, the Ludwig Foundation of Cuba, the National Ballet of Cuba, the Hermanos Saiz Association and the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba issued a declaration in support of artists from Argentina in the face of Javier Milei’s attacks on the cultural institutions of that country.

In Algeria, the National Graffiti Festival awarded first prize to the artist Fethi Mjahed for his murals that raise awareness of citizenship ad disseminate the culture of peace.

In Mexico City, the work of 12 artists is on exhibit to promote peace in their neighborhoods of the city. From the portraits made by Esteban Viveros of the people who live in the Guerrero neighborhood; to the landscapes of Jessica Islas, who denounces the burning of the forests in Xochimilco; and the collective work of Atardecer Dwsk that demonstrates that art heals the hearts of those who feel loneliness and depression, the creators seek to question prejudices about the places they inhabit.

With regard to the war in the Ukraine, CPNN readers may recall that many Russian artists, including writers and poets, musicians and music industry workers, television celebrities, hosts and showpeople, actors and actresses, filmmakers, comedians and stand-up artists, opera singers, fashion models, ballet dancers, orchestra conductors, and theater directors are among those who dared to oppose the war last year. Perhaps the most famous is Alla Pugacheva, Russia’s most beloved pop singer.

Speaking at the meeting of Turkish artists, Feyyaz Yaman from Karşı Sanat (Counter Art) expressed the urgent task confronted by artists today. “The silencing environment we are experiencing all over the world today prompts us to seek our rights. If art is to speak a critical language, then it must first weave rights and the coexistence of peoples. We invite artists to stand together against those who continuously impose a process of extermination and to claim this need. We have something to do for this, we need to produce a process of real dialogue. We have to bring together and defend the injustices we have suffered in this environment of differences on our common ground of righteousness. As those who believe in the power of art, we invite everyone to re-establish this peace.”

TOLERANCE & SOLIDARITY



Gala of solidarity with the Palestinians at the Algiers Opera

HUMAN RIGHTS



BDS Movement: Act Now Against These Companies Profiting from the Genocide of the Palestinian People

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT



Wealth of five richest men doubles since 2020 as five billion people made poorer in “decade of division,” says Oxfam

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION



Rallies held worldwide as Israeli genocide in Gaza enters 100th day

  

WOMEN’S EQUALITY



The women leading the fight for peace in Palestine: Women in Black

EDUCATION FOR PEACE



The artists Mira Awad and Noa: voices for peace in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict

DISARMAMENT & SECURITY



Wives of Russian soldiers descend on Putin campaign office to demand demobilisation

DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION



Oaxaca, Mexico: State Government Promotes Culture of Peace as a Public Policy

The Houghouët-Boigny Foundation of Yamoussoukro: what is its contribution to the culture of peace?


The Culture of Peace Program of UNESCO was born in Yamoussoukro in 1989 at the Conference for Peace in the Minds of Men. Since then, the Houghouët-Boigny Foundation of Yamoussoukro has continued to promote the culture of peace, with an emphasis on peace education.

The 25th anniversary celebration of the 1989 Conference in 2014 established a network for research institutions for the culture of peace. Among its activities, the network reprints the CPNN bulletin each month for an African audience.

Here are CPNN articles related to this theme:

Promotion of the Culture of Peace in Africa – A Pan-African School of Peace in Yamoussoukro

Women from several African countries trained in the culture of peace

Yamoussoukro, Côte d’Ivoire : Young Christian and Muslim leaders take action for peace

Côte d’Ivoire: traditional chiefs gather in Yamoussoukro

Côte d’Ivoire: A seminar on the culture of peace organized at the FHB Foundation of Yamoussoukro

Ivory Coast: UNESCO announces the creation of a school for the Culture of Peace in Yamoussoukro

Yamoussoukro, Côte d’Ivoire: Opening of ISESCO Regional Centre for Culture of Peace

Culture of peace curricula: what are some good examples?

Here is one approach

Maria Montessori believed that peace was innate within children. Her timeless educational philosophy was developed around this basic understanding. Perhaps all we need to do as teachers is to provide stimulating learning environments that validate this knowing and understanding and nurture it. We may not have to actually teach it,  Sharing peace-building stories gently attends to this. Strong, creative and imaginative peace-building characters who focus upon win-win and have faith in peace being possible are at the centre of the story plots. In Hassaun Ali-Jones Bey’s unique and mesmerising story, Black Ink is such a character who bravely crosses the universe seeking validation of what he knows in his heart. The magical character also models all the important peace-building values, understandings and actions needed for peace-building. I believe also that peace-building must be modelled and the whole teaching-learning environment should reflect similar values, understandings and actions…as is the primary focus of the Save the Children Australia UN Global Peace School Program upon which I am presently fortunate to be working. As Gandhi stated: ‘If we want peace in the world then we need to begin with the children.’ We need to listen to them. I also believe there are many ways to attend to peace-building..there’s not just one way…and fun and creativity should be elements of any peace-learning programme with children working together. Parents are also teachers and they can choose to share peace-building stories with children as well.

Here are some CPNN articles on this subject:

Mexico: International Diploma in Development and Culture of Peace at the UAZ

Mexico: Invitation to register for an online diploma in the Culture of Peace through the Arts

Transformative Peace Initiatives through TOCfE Tools

El Salvador : MUPI promotes workshops on Culture of Peace

Dominican Republic: 11 Thousand People Train in Conflict Resolution and Culture of Peace in 2021

Imagine Project receives Global Education award

English bulletin February 1, 2022

. MEDIATION AND RESTORATIVE JUSTICE .

While it is difficult to find progress in the culture of peace in international relations, the methods of the culture of peace such as mediation and restorative justice continue to advance at the level of inter-personal relations.

The greatest advances continue to be seen in Latiin America.

In Brazil, two years ago CPNN reported that almost all state courts and judicial policy makers took part in a debate at the Superior Labor Court in Brasilia on the current stage of restorative justice in the country. And recently we have seen developments in restorative justice aimed at promoting a culture of peace in the Brazilian states of Pernambuco and Ceará.

In Argentina, the National Directorate of Mediation and Participatory Methods of Conflict Resolution, held the “National Meeting of the Federal Network of Community Mediation Centers and Training in School Mediation”. In the CPNN article they list the advantages of community mediation and the responsibilities of the mediators and the parties concerned.

In Panama, the Coordination Office of the Community Mediation Program presented the main results achieved during the year 2021. Most cases continue to be initiated voluntarily, that is, that the citizen directly attends the Center to request the conflict management service without the intervention of a judge or other authority.

In Mexico, 13 mediation centers are available in the capitol state. The CPNN article describes the process of mediation in detail.

In the Dominican Republic, the National Conflict Resolution System (Sinarec), reported that in the past year 2021 it trained more than 11 thousand people in its citizen education programs for alternative conflict resolution and culture of peace. Among those trained were members of public ministries, psychologists, teachers, members of the National Police, community and ecclesiastical leaders.

Europe is advancing as well. Ministries of Justice of the Member States of the Council of Europe took part in the Conference on the theme of restorative justice, in Venice in December. The two-day Ministerial Conference concluded with the signing of the Venice Declaration, a joint document that stimulates policies aimed at a wider dissemination of restorative justice, access to which “should be an objective of the national authorities”.

In Spain, the Specialized Mediation Group of the Granada Bar Association has discussed and described the transformative practice of mediation. This type of mediation orients the participants towards conflict transformation, maximizing the choice and control of the parties in terms of content and process, increasing the intervener’s transparency, avoiding the use of pressure, manipulation and overreaction and promoting the conversation between the parties.

Over the years CPNN has carried many articles about the use of restorative justice in the United States. And most recently, the law school of Marquette University has established a Center for Restorative Justice. The center will train law students in how to use restorative justice at local, national, and international levels in a guided civil dialogue to address conflict, promote healing, and facilitate problem solving.

A bill was introduced in December in the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the bicameral Parliament of India to promote mediation (including online mediation), and provide for enforcement of settlement agreements resulting from mediation.  The bill sets out the procedures that must be followed in mediation and among other measures, it would require the central government to establish the Mediation Council of India.

If only these principles of mediation and restorative justice could be used at the level of international relations ! For example, Russia has recently proposed peace treaties with the United States and with NATO, but so far they are being completely ignored, not only by the USA and Europe, but also by the mass media in these countries.

DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION

Europe

Council of Europe : Ministerial Conference on restorative justice concludes with the signature of the Declaration of Venice

TOLERANCE & SOLIDARITY

Aragon

Spain: More than 140 people participate in the first Congress ‘Aragon, culture of peace’

WOMEN’S EQUALITY

Conakry

Conakry: former deputies launch a new coalition for peace, rights and development, COFEPAD-Guinea

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION

Russia

US Must Take Russia’s Security Concerns Seriously

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Mayan-Train
Mexico: The government integrates the Mayan Train in the program Promotion of the Culture of Peace and Reconstruction of the Social Fabric

DISARMAMENT & SECURITY

nuclear

Russia, China, Britain, U.S. and France say no one can win nuclear war

HUMAN RIGHTS

Amnesty

Amnesty International : 33 human rights wins to celebrate this year

EDUCATION FOR PEACE

Dominican

Dominican Republic: 11 Thousand People Train in Conflict Resolution and Culture of Peace in 2021

Can popular art help us in the quest for truth and justice?


This question applies to the following articles in CPNN:

Algeria: National Graffiti Festival-Sétif; Fethi Mjahed wins 1st Prize

Towards an African renaissance through culture and history

Facing severe repression, Russians are turning to antiwar graffiti

Colombia: ‘HipHop Week’ begins in Cali

Senegal’s First Female Graffiti Artist Is Leaving a Fearless Mark

Popular Art at Oklahoma City Memorial

La bande dessinée face aux messages idéologiques

Comic Strips that Combat Ideology

Cuarto Concurso de Animaciones por la Paz

Fourth Contest of Animations for Peace

Vania Masías será jurado del Concurso de Coreografías de Hip Hop en Peru

Vania Masias Will Judge the Choreography Competition of Hip Hop in Peru

Yemen’s youth draw peace messages in Sanaa streets

Peace Museums, Are they giving peace a place in the community?

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).

2009-2018

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 are the CPNN articles on this subject:

What’s the message to us today from Martin Luther King, Jr.?

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.

Here are the CPNN articles on this subject:

Do war toys promote the culture of war?

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.

Here is a good discussion of this.

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: