grab your nikon. create an ikon.

See what I did there?

Seriously though, grab your Nikon or whatever other photographic device you’ve got (I personally prefer my iPhone on the hispstamatic, ya dig?) and let your voice be…seen? You can do it all with a little help from IGVP, International Guild if Visual Peacemakers. They are a group of visual communicators who are dedicated to breaking down barriers and stereotypes in order to create peace. They strive to display the dignity and beauty of cultures all around the world. Once again, I have to accredit my find to Google.

So listen up photography teachers, cultural studies teachers, and just about any other teacher that can tie this into their curriculum. Regardless of your students’ ages, this one’s for you. Make it an in-class thing and just give your students a couple of cameras and a couple of minutes. Or make it a homework assignment and give em the weekend to do it on their own and show you what they came up with. What’s peace in their eyes?

It’s an easy way for students to think creatively, do something a little outside the box, and really involve the community. It’s an application of what they learn, how they feel, and what they think. It’s their perspective and dammit I like it! There’s no right or wrong answer.

Once you’ve got the pictures just create a gallery by creating an account on the IGVP website and post em for all to see! But that’s not all ladies and gents, you can spread the peace in other ways. After your students snap a few shots, they can talk about it by submitting entries for the guest blog! They can even start a discussion on the IGVP blog. Blogging’s all the hype.

This snazzy-so 21st century medium is a simple way to teach people to embrace and accept others. With so many colorful galleries to look through it’s easy to see beauty and common humanity through other’s eyes. Seeing pictures full of so many emotions and truths it’s hard not to empathize with other cultures. Not to mention it teaches students how to express themselves in ways other than in writing.

So, find a day to take that camera out when the sun rays are a blazing. Or not. Hey, it’s your artistic eye and your iconic representation of peace. I’m just the messenger. 

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3 thoughts on “grab your nikon. create an ikon.

  1. Thank you for this article. It is so true that cnaghe is difficult, but watching your words are very important. Oh, how I have learned this, but so late in life. Yes, it is better now than later but, no time for regrets though. Better late than never. I was listening to a YouTube (viewed more than just once) on how to dissolve the ego . Acharya Shree stated that there are eight types of ego that sneak up on you. I won’t try to spell out the Sanskrit world for them, but he mentions that sweet words make you more divine and that it is important to watch your words because words transform. I am aware of what I need to work on and that is my reaction. When I become misunderstood or frustrated, I have at times raised my voice that had caused me to become somewhat caustic. I always end up apologizing afterwards. Words can definitely become your enemy. Of the eight ego’s to watch out for (knowledge, worship, family, race, success/attainment, austerity and body), boasting or condescending words become your enemy.I continue to learn and to apply the wisdom of both you and Acharya Shree because to me I find sweetness is your words, calmness when I hear them and it brings peace into my heart that helps me through each day. A teacher informs, but a master transforms. The words of the masters will transform the hearts of the student.

  2. I think that we live in a world where many people live with an “out of sight out of mind” mindset. In other words, if something is not directly affecting them they just ignore it. With photography and technology we are able to take and share pictures so quickly. In just seconds worlds are connected. Photography is not only an artistic, expressive, alternative and fun tool, but it also is an effective and efficient tool to spread awareness. I hope that answers your question!! 🙂

  3. Thank you for this really interesting resource. You write “Seeing pictures full of so many emotions and truths it’s hard not to empathize with other cultures.” I’m interested to know your thoughts on how photography is a particularly useful tool for peace educators?

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