Video art and peacebuilding.

“A picture is worth a thousand words but a video is worth a million.”

In the realm of visual art, medium of photography has given an immense impact contributing in peace building throughout the history due to its unique traits of grabbing, maintaining, and retaining viewer’s attention. A new medium of Video has emerged that exceeds far beyond the limited capacity of photography. Video with its distinct feature that allows audience to “experience” the depicted stories which creates a subconscious space to delve into the core morals and messages of the content. Such transcended contemplation and emotional shifts may bring opportunities to alter traditional ideas, rules, patterns, and relationships.

Video in the form of art has not only the ability to deliver often isolated stories from the marginalized part of world but also used as a tool to emotionally connect with the audience with visual aesthetic, sound design, and convincing acting. Emotional connections are crucial that allows drastic, often radical, conversion in human cognitions and behaviors. Peace building, which harshly requires creativity and transcendence, needs such conversion to bring about possible solutions. Emotional connection can bridge as an opportunity for therapeutic strategies for traumatized groups and individuals. It can also be used for an attempts of convincing pursuing a space for reconciliation or resilience depending on the situation of the conflicts. Video art can come in many shapes each with different trajectories. These are few of the examples:

Non-Fictional Documentary

Non-Fictional Documentary videos can create strong narratives about causes and dynamics of conflicts. In real documentaries live actions and narrations are recorded that excludes the acting part of the filming. Keeping the fact is the most essential part of this form of video.

Recreated Documentary

Real person recreating the story.

Short Film

Professional actors re-creating the historical characters and events.

Therapeutic Video

Very subjective part of video art due to different perceptive points of healing of every individual. However, majority of people share universal axioms from the tiniest form. Possibly film, music videos, and any kind of serene or sensitive videos are therapeutic.

Visual Poetry

Extremely artistic approach that brings about human emotion which also covertly underlies creator’s desired messages.


Since videos can easily arouse human emotions, it is important to maintain ideologically, politically, and philosophically neutral states.


Even though the internet is an avalanche, full of information and news, it is rather hard to find contents regarding peace building in the daily life, popularly used internet. Also videos for peace building is often viewed overly academic and low quality. Which, in the point of view from professional artists, can point out the lack of care and funding in this particular method of peace building. However, this uncomfortable fact is not only shown in the medium of video but also in the majorities of internet based formats like viral web-site, social media, youtube channel, and etc. Ironically, peace builders and advocates are tacit obliged to keenly follow up with the recent trends and changes of this world to adapt in the fast changing global world we live in today. Giving sophisticated interests with aesthetics and quality of peace building related videos, creating and funding a professional film school specifically focusing on peace building might be one of the solution. Also, coining one big internet format (website) that congregates every single peace building related websites, blogs, videos, forums, and etc. is recommended with proper advertisements. It will alleviate accessibility for normal internet users concentrating the contents to one.







[ Chanuk Barnabas In | Conf 340 ]

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