Working with PeaceMedia has provided the opportunity to be exposed to various peacebuilding tactics. It has shown that there is a plethora of information out there and that countless individuals are working tirelessly to bring about peace and resolve conflicts. Most recently, I watched a video on an orchestra in Brazil that began allowing girls to take part. Traditionally a male dominated art, this orchestra is lead by a female maestra, and has women playing alongside men. This orchestra is a part of The World Bank's program on gender equality called Think Equal. While this particular video speaks to building gender equality rather than direct conflict resolution, it does show the positive impact that arts and music can have on communities.
I think the method of using art and music to involve the marginalized can be quite powerful. It reminds me of a small boutique called W.A.R. Chest. It is part of the Women At Risk International organization. Their mission is to provide women with protection through culturally sensitive projects. The boutique opening in Rockford, MI in 2008 was their first store and it concentrates on providing education to women and girls on sexual slavery and human trafficking. There are now stores in every state.
Art allows for expression of very complicated matters and like the music in Brazil, the W.A.R. Chest gives an outlet for expression. Art in peacebuilding and conflict resolution gives individuals and communities tools to speak for those without a voice. In class we learn about post-modernism approaches to peacebuilding. Post-modernism is the philosophy following the determinist and fatalist attitude of realism and liberalism and abandons the idea that there is one formula for peacebuilding, rather the methodology is boundless. There is no one perfect formula for enacting peace or resolving conflicts.
The music being made in Brazil and the art at the W.A.R. Chest is peacebuilding in action from within the communities and allows for expression of ideas when words aren't enough.