Here are some films and videos recommended by our readers.
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.
Here is the response of Ann Mason in 2007:
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 the CPNN articles on this subject:
Here is a comment about this question from CPNN reporter Janet Hudgins:
We teach the science of war on an even and equal basis with the 3Rs and we maintain it with more resources than any other school. Further, we have done this consistently for a couple of thousand years, long before education was institutionalized for all children. And we have never questioned the wisdom of teaching millions of civilians how to kill while never giving the same credence, or any for that matter, to the science of peace, the study of anti-war, of reconciliation. With this inured mindset leaders choose to fund boot camps and officer training colleges and by omission deprive youth of the better choice.
If we can teach war and violence with such commitment to suit the purposes of generals and the arms trade, where are the rest of us who have a greater need for peace and conciliation than anyone anywhere has for the killing fields? Why have civilians not demanded peace education long ago and why don’t we have it now?
Below are articles in CPNN about this question:
Here is a response to the question submitted to CPNN by Kiki Chauvin.
The actor lives between two worlds, one of which is his proper existence and the other, the world of fiction where he takes on the role of his character. He seems to have one foot on each of them while his head collects, combines, mixes, synthesizes and puts together the emotions that are translated and expressed by body and voice.
We get it directly, it is “in our face” with no escape possible! The richness of this mixture “reality/fiction” allows the artist to enter into us through hidden doors.
Using texts with humor and irony, the actor passes messages to which our minds would otherwise be deaf! He affects us, challenges us, plays with us, provokes us, making our attention an accomplice of what he has to say.
The direct contact and proximity, sometimes intimate, between stage and audience send us messages that we hear, questions that provoke us to transferring images to our daily experience, our reality, to “real life”!
Thus we are pushed and shaken from calm to storm, from injustice to anger, from hatred to solidarity, from indifference to empathy in the face of violence.
Actors are in the public service. They are “Public Friends Number One!” They are chroniclers, “troublemakers,” breakers of habit, forcing us to think things through.
The culture of peace needs the oxygen of this youthful spirit! , I believe that art in general, with its playfulness, has the power to awaken us. It is an excellent support to the promotion of the Culture of Peace.
I love the theater, it is a space of freedom where actors can transmit an energy drawn from the conviction of what they say.
We hear, receive, understand for a digestion that may be immediate and /or delayed. Some part is absorbed immediately, but the rest we take home with us. . . . and that is where the seeds of consciousness begin to germinate into the Culture of Peace.
Here are CPNN articles pertaining to this question:
A classic response to this question is the following letter from Mohatma Gandhi to Maria Montessori:
To Madame Montessori
Even as you, out of your love for children, are endeavoring to teach children, through your numerous institution, the best that can be brought out of them, even so, I hope that it will be possible not only for the children of the wealthy and the well-to-do, but for the children of paupers to receive training of this nature. You have very truly remarked that if we are to reach real peace in this world and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with children and if they will grow up in their natural innocence, we won’t have the struggle, we won’t have to pass fruitless idle resolutions, but we shall go from love to love and peace to peace, until at last all the corners of the world are covered with that peace and love for which, consciously or unconsciously, the whole world is hungering.
Mohatma Gandhi, Young India, 19-11-”31
Here are CPNN articles related to this theme:
For older discussion, click here.
The following CPNN articles refer to this discussion question:
For discussion in 2003-2005, click here
If we are to achieve a culture of peace, it will have to come about by nonviolent means.
Fortunately there are many initiatives for nonviolence, as we have found in the reviews of CPNN, for example, the CPNN bulletin of May 2016..
What does nonviolence look like. Here is the description by Martin Luther King, speaking of Mahatma Gandhi: “nonviolent resistance is not a method for cowards; it does resist. If one uses this method because he is afraid or merely because he lacks the instruments of violence, he is not truly nonviolent. This is why Gandhi often said that if cowardice is the only alternative to violence, it is better to fight… nonviolent resistance … is not a method of stagnant passivity… For while the nonviolent resister is passive in the sense that he is not physically aggressive toward his opponent, his mind and his emotions are always active, constantly seeking to persuade his opponent that he is wrong. The method is passive physically but strongly active spiritually. It is not passive non-resistance to evil, it is active nonviolent resistance to evil.”
Readers are encouraged to comment below on this theme which refers to the following CPNN articles since 2015.
For previous discussion and list of CPNN articles before then, click here.