Volume 2, Number 1, 2007
Peace development occurs as a process of, as well as a response, to creativity. In the process, creativity aids in conflict transformation. By communicating through diverse means, such as meditative realization, prayer, telepathic connection, multilingual discourse and artistic representations, expansion of perceptions and understanding can be enhanced. Such transformation can occur, and is often needed, in personal, relational and structural domains. Consequently, creativity has a crucial role in peace development within oneself, with peace partners (disconnected/competing/opposing others) and in organizations. Creative suggestions for responding to conflict have been crucial for their transformation and resolution. Generating ideas for different ways in which unmet needs can be satisfied in the solution development for a problem is a challenge, especially for those who are entrenched in the conflict. Possibilities can be generated with, as well as for, them. Helpful has been the consideration of ideas from those who are not stakeholders in a conflict. Un-entrenched perceptions of a conflict tend to be freer in the development of possible means to its resolution.
Connection, Exchange, Co-Creation, Relationship
In addition to its value in conflict transformation, creativity attracts cross-cultural connection, which is vital for relational peace. In a global community, new ideas and technology that facilitates them distributes across borders, yet not all of them due to increasing economic disparities that impede access. For example, where capital is available to acquire them, new electronic technologies have enabled intergroup dialogues and idea exchanges that support relational peace, when those processes occur constructively. Creation of new methods of sustainable living, in addition to revival of some practiced by indigenous populations, evidence shared values and norms between peoples who had been culturally disconnected. Development of commercial-free knowledge resources is another important venue for connecting people in exchange of ideas. Co-creation of exchanged notions, technologies, art productions other developments featured by a culture results as a method of adaptation to the new ways of living. A relationship of shared identity as implementers of the new development is a seed of relational peace. The many culturally diverse ways to connect and develop peace are especially evident in, as well as from, engagement with the arts.
Perception, Emotion, Reflection, Direction
The arts evidence as well as stimulate emotions. Perceptions influence those feelings. Following experience with creative expression, awareness of our values and desires are clearer. Through wakefulness and openness in the pursuit of peace, our self-awareness as well as recognition of the needs of others occurs via interaction with the arts. In response to emotions, reflection on what exists and what is needed for well-being evidences opportunities for change; a different direction. Hence, creativity is a foundation on which we can reconstruct interactions and relations that enhance or develop peace. For example, direct engagement in the graphic or performing arts enables a healing process, as well as generates ideas for problem solving. Producing the arts is therapeutic through engagement that immediately facilitates emotional healing. Intellectual capacities for creating solutions to problems depend on recognition and management of emotions.
We encourage and celebrate your participation in creativity for peace. Please share with us your projects in that pursuit. Thank you.
Author: Cheryl Melody
Author: Holger Terp
Author: Michiko I. Pumpian
Author: Marquita K. Bell
Author: Nuray Tastan, Ph.D.
Which-Ta-Lum & Dean Evenson
Artist: Cha-Das-Ska-Dum Which-Ta-Lum & Dean Evenson
Artist: Charlie King
Artist: Barb Kobe
Artist: Mie Bak Jakobsen