Art Exhibit 'Peace Lies in Our Hands'
As an exercise in peace education the UNESCO Club Vienna initiated a series of workshops with children from diverse socio-economic backgrounds in Vienna to explore in a creative way what peace is. The children created a mural together on canvas incorporating symbols and words for peace. While creating the artwork issues relating to unity and diversity, inclusiveness, inter-connectivity and tolerance were discussed. The hand can caress, it can mould clay, bake bread and it can hold a gun. Issues of personal responsibility and choice were explored.
The participants had the opportunity to contemplate and share the many different words for peace in their own and other languages thereby provoking an understanding of our common humanity. They also were invited to make a handprint and create a symbol as a personal commitment to peace. Finally, at the end of process they were invited to formulate and contribute a personal message.
In merging the personal into the collective the Workshops contributed to reinforce bonds of respectful interaction among the participants. This approach has proven to be especially effective in working with persons of diverse cultural backgrounds and language skills. Furthermore, It is envisaged through such workshops to create a global ‘picture book’ to connect children and youth from diverse backgrounds and life situations.
The outcome of the first 2 Workshops will be exhibited at the Peace Museum Vienna to commemorate International Day for Tolerance - a cornerstone of peace. A series of workshops are planned throughout the 70th anniversary of UNESCO connecting children in Austria and abroad.