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Promotion of Peace Through Art

Updated on June 1, 2019
Hadia Malik profile image

I am doing my Bachelors in Peace and Conflict Studies from National Defense University Islamabad

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Introduction

Art is an amazing way of expressing one’s true feelings without the use of words. It is a way of reimagining the future and foster understanding. It makes you more open-minded to ideas as well as helps you work collaboratively with others. It is a language of peace that goes beyond the use of words. It is an exceptional method of promoting peace amidst this world of violence. It can prove to be a great mode of conflict resolution.

Forms of Art

There are different forms of art, each of which has a different way to touch the mind and soul. Each type has its own way to promote peace:

  • Literary Art (novels, poems, speeches)
  • Visual Art (fine arts, sculpture, videos)
  • Performing Art (music, drama)

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Promoting Peace Through Literary Art

Words have such power that can move nations. They have so much power that a pen is considered more dangerous than a sword. A piece of literature can easily incite large scale violence for example when Salman Rushdie wrote the book Satanic Verses, it incited large scale riots, bombings and death threats to the author. However similar to the promotion of violence, it also has the power to promote peace. An example can be the song “Humsaye Maa Jaye” written and composed by the sisters Bushra Ansari and Asma Abbas which is a conversation between two neighbours, one Indian and the other Pakistani. They sing about the similarities between the two countries ranging from music, clothes, lifestyles, problems, food and even languages. They also talk about the destruction that atom bombs can cause and how they just want to destroy these bombs and demolish the walls between their countries and live happily as neighbours. They also mention how both of the countries’ governments do not exactly care about their common people. This was a message of peace after the recent conflict between the two countries. It was a way of ending all warmongering and helps deescalate the conflict.

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Promoting Peace through Visual Art

Visual Art is not what you see, rather what you make others see, and it speaks where words are unable to explain. It is a hidden message that is left to the mind to perceive. It can be a very powerful tool for promoting peace. Street art is a great way to spread the message as it can be seen without visiting expensive art galleries and always have catchy themes. A French-Tunisian street artist is well known for his positive street art. He takes verses from the holy Quran and uses them in his street art. He claims that you do not always need to know the meaning to understand the message; it touches your soul before it touches your mind. He has graffitied messages from South Africa to Rio De Janeiro and his art always included the aspect of aesthetic as well as humanitarianism.

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Promoting Peace through Performing Art

Performing art is a great way to get your message across in an entertaining manner. Movies are a type of performing arts that are watched all across the world and the messages shown within them have a great impact on the viewers. They can either lead to warmongering or promote peace. A movie that spread the message of peace was “Banjrangi Bhai Jaan” which was a story of a young girl who ends up on the wrong side of the border. She is unable to speak due to which she finds it hard to communicate with others. However, she finds an Indian who helps her get back to her homeland.

© 2019 Hadia Malik

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