Global Climate Change

This posting will speak about the current state of climate change and how it is affecting our world on a global scale. The resource that was used to put together this post was the UN website (https://www.un.org/en/sections/issues-depth/climate-change/). This information is brought to you directly through the United Nations web page to demonstrate how critical this situation is. Not only does this article talk about the affects of climate change on our worlds surface and atmosphere, but it also explains how climate change is affecting our global economies and finances. Climate change is can not be taken lightly anymore and with the proper information, we can all do our part to stop it.

Image result for climate change global issue
https://climate.nasa.gov/resources/global-warming-vs-climate-change/

This resource is well suited for younger readers such as middle school students and can easily be adapted to any other age group. The subject of climate change is more important now than ever before due to the rise of our population and energy consumption and it is critical that everyone has a working understanding of this problem. Its for this reason that this resource can be used in a formal setting as well as an informal setting. It is also compatible with a variety of community groups such as global activists and university professors. Anyone who cares to understand our global climate has access to this resource.

Educators can incorporate and use this resource very easily throughout their academic career by simply visiting the source and summarizing its information. Simply type the URL into the search or browser section of an internet application and follow the link to this resource. The subject of climate change can be a simple concept to demonstrate and requires little materials and logistics when being explained or lectured on. Useful materials for educating about climate change would be the use of global statistics of the effects of climate change and the use of field studies can also be utilized. This resource can also be combined with other methods of teaching such as adding this subject into a science or environmental class. This method would be useful because it would be incorporated into the agenda of most educational institutions.

This resource can inspire many people to become engaged with climate change and that is the beginning of where we need to be on this subject. The amount of knowledge and skills learned by using this resource are almost limitless due to the nature of the situation of climate change. It would be incredibly engaging for anyone who is studying climate change and using this resource. Conflict resolution would be the most important type of peace education learned from this resource. It would encourage more people to want to act on this crisis rather than just let someone else handle it.

The two stakeholders that would be interested in this resource would be non-profit organizations and journalists. Non-profit groups would benefit due to the fact that this issue can be dealt with without the need for massive funding. These groups can spread the word of climate change and that alone will encourage the population to act. Journalists can also benefit from this resource due to their wide range of audiences. Journalists have the tools to get this message across in a wider and more broad range than any other contributor. However, anyone who is truly interested in making a difference in climate change will find this resource interesting and would be more than willing to spread the word about this crisis.

Image result for climate change global issue
https://80000hours.org/2016/05/how-can-we-buy-more-insurance-against-extreme-climate-change/

Two Koreas: Road to Peace

  • Abstract and source of information
  • The Division of Korea and the Korean War
  • Efforts to peace: Unified Korean sporting teams and Korea family reunions
  • Obstacles of reconciliation
  • Ways to use this source

Abstract and source of information

This post will provide some information of division of Korea and how two countries are trying to build a peace during the armistice, and factors that interrupt the peacebuilding for not only a students, but also an adults, whose discipline or matter of concern is in international relations or conflict resolution. But this post is also open to various people who engage in other disciplines, if they want to know about the conflict between two Koreas. The words of this post will be narrated in simple words so it is accessible to middle to high school students and even students who have difficulties with understanding English.

Resources used in this post

https://www.history.com/news/north-south-korea-divided-reasons-facts

https://edition.cnn.com/videos/world/2018/08/20/north-south-korea-family-reunions-hancocks-sot-vpx.cnn

The Division of Korea and the Korean War

The Republic of Korea (ROK) and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), also known as the South Korea and North Korea, are one of few divided countries that existing today. After the liberation from Japan in August 15, 1945, the United States occupied the South and the Soviet Union occupied the North, dividing Korean peninsula by latitude 38˚ N, or the 38th parallel. At that moment, the tension of the Cold War tightened which made impossible to reunify the peninsula. In 1948, the South Korea formed its own government, ROK, in Seoul by voting first president, Lee Syungman, and at the same year the North Korea installed Kim Il Sung as the first premier of the DPRK in Pyongyang. Both Koreas were not acknowledge each other’s structure and had ideological conflict, which lead to Korean War or 6.25 War.

In June 25th 2015, under the command of Kim Il Sung, the North first cross over the 38th parallel and invaded the South. As the South Korea was not ready for the war, Seoul, capital of the South, was conquered by the North only in 3 days. As the invasion of the North was confirmed, the United Nation (UN) send UN troops from 16 different countries and 5 medical support countries to help ROK for the war. One famous battle, the Battle of Incheon, led by General MacArthur, made the South to retake the Seoul back and this catastrophic war continued until 1953. This tragedy killed over 2.5 million people and destroyed every city. In 1953, both sides finally made an agreement of ceasefire; however, it is not the end of war but just an armistice. 

Efforts to peace: Unified Korean sporting teams and Korea family reunions

Even in the status of ceasefire, there are few events that led Koreas into peacebuilding: Unified Korean sporting teams and Korea family reunions.

Unified Korean Sporting teams

After the division in 1945, two Korea’s national sports teams had unified under the name of Korea (KOR) and competed in international sports competition, such as Olympics and Asian Games, in total of 5 times. Team Korea used the Unification Flag and the anthem “Arrirang.”

1. 1991 World Table Tennis Championships

2. 1991 FIFA World Youth Championship

3. 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang (women’s ice hockey)

4. 2018 World Team Table Tennis Championships

5. 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games (Canoe)

Korea family reunions

The Korean War not only divided the land itself, but also it divided families. In August 2018, family reunion was held in the North Korea. Dozens of families from both North and South made an emotional reunion. They met their relatives at least 65 years. Over the years, North and South have arranged 20 family reunions in past 18 years. 

Obstacles of reconciliation

There are some factors that interrupt the reconciliation between two Koreas. Most of the people can think of missile and nuclear issue from the North Korea is the biggest issue. However, the biggest problem is the attitude of the North. Their egocentric, self-righteous, and stubborn behavior definitely prolong the conflict. Recently, in August of this year, North Korea shut down peace talks with South Korea after the North launched two ballistic missiles. It is certain that if the North Korea don’t mind to change their arrogant behavior, the conflict between two Koreas will last forever.

Ways to use this source

             This post can be a resource or study material for readers who wants to know about the situation between the South Korea and the North Korea. Moreover, readers should learn that a peace doesn’t happen immediately. There are dozens of struggles, efforts, and variables that can change the whole situation. 

Author and references of photo used

Juyoung You (Student in Global Affairs B.A., George Mason University)

jyou5@masonlive.gmu.edu

This research has been made for the course CONF 340

Rerences:

https://www.history.com/news/north-south-korea-divided-reasons-facts

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unified_Korean_sporting_teams

Migration from North Africa: A land of opportunity for Africa, an uninvited guest to Europe

CONF 340 / Myungjin Choi / November 5, 2019

Abstract:

Migration is one of the most popular movement that has been widespread around the world. There are many different reasons for the migration such as to find work, education, avoid politics and culture. Particularly in Africa, there are massive population movements; displaced people and labor migrants across national boundaries from the African continent to the Europe caused by poverty, violent conflict and environmental stress. However, many European countries are not willing to allow the African migrant and immigrant workers to join their countries who are mostly the poor people attempting to improve their lives. They think that African migration causes negative influence to the international and capitalist development in Europe. On the other hand, some European historian think that African migration can be beneficial to the Europe that labor exporting movement can improve the economic changes. Under the UN Development Programme (UNDP) report, interviewing 1970 migrants from 39 African countries in 13 European nations, many African migrants did not move to Europe for the job; instead they wanted to earn better lives from the developed countries because they did not have enough food, water, shelter, medicine and education.

Background:

The large scale African migration started around 200,000 years ago due to the technological innovations that caused the increase of population and their expansion to the urban areas. For example, 15,000 years ago in Egypt and Sudan, with their development of cultivation using the way of mechanized farming, damaged environment by reducing arable soil and causing desertification to spread. Climate changes also have been cause for migration that drought has forced inhabitants to leave many locations throughout the continent because of their poor agriculture and water scarcity. After the end of WW2, some European countries were economically booming because that local workers could not fill the vacancies and labor reservoirs were limited. Therefore North-Western European governments headed to Africa to find solutions from the migrants. During the 15th century, the Portuguese first arrived on the West African coast for the slave trade and were soon followed by the Dutch, British and French. The slave trade rapidly developed European economies and commodities while destroying opportunities for economic and political development in Africa. Famous historian Walter Rodney viewed slave trade was beneficial to the European economy, saying that “Europe has developed by under developing Africa.” Furthermore, there has been a concept of migration in the past, but it is different from the current concept. While the number of migrants now increases due to the civil war, food and water shortages, in the past, Europeans forcibly took and colonized many slaves as they occupied Africa. Thus, if it was a forced migration in the past, it is now a trend to move first to find a better lives. Currently, many North African immigrants are crossing the Mediterranean Sea into Europe. And this issue is considered to be a very central issue among countries in the European Union, including Italy, France, Germany, Hungary and Malta, with different opinions on migration. While Italian officials think that North African Movement as economic migrants, many other EU states considered it as war refugees.

Economic Migrants vs. War refugees

In July 2019, newly elected and re-elected members of European Union Parliament has reviewed EU’s foreign policy to find a compromise throughout the meeting, which includes the issue of irregular migration of North Africans to European borders. This meeting has been took place at the fortified coastal city of Birgu in Malta after Italy’s new coalition government agreed to open one of its ports to a second NGO boat carrying 182 migrants from North Africa. This has been the most complicated and sensitive issue faced by EU policymakers beside the Brexit. While some think that African migration was absolutely beneficial in the past from the labor opportunity and expanding market, in recent days, many EU members think that migration is limiting job opportunities to their national people, fleeing violence, economic decline, persecution and their sizes are expanding tremendously. On 2015, they said, “Europe is longer experiencing the migration crisis.” It is common that most African migrants coming to Europe are desperate people who suffer from poverty and warfare and they are most likely the refugees. They must be repatriated.

Thus, this migration issue has caused serious controversy between the countries in the European Union. Germany and France strongly opposed Italy’s acceptance of North African refugees and migration. Italy has issued temporary residency permits to migrants, stressing the importance of European and African solidarity. However, other European Union countries said that if they continue to accept migrants from Africa, more people will continue to come and damage the European people in economy and employment.  

Speaking at the annual Atreju’ meeting in the Italian capital Orban said: “if you are willing to repatriate immigrants, we will try to help with repatriation. Shared distribution, not. Shared repatriation would be very good.” Oppositions rejected the idea migration can lead to cultural enrichment, arguing integration fails and warned migration brings “public safety problems.”

Due to the undecided policy from European Union on migration, Europe is struggling with rising levels of migrants from Africa. There are different views existing in the Europe upon the African migration that some agree with migration that it helps labor shortage and commodities in Europe, which helps their economic survival. On the other hand some disagree with continuous migration and illegal immigration that if it starts to accept, it will continue to accept and it will have a lot of negative impact on the rights and employment opportunities of the European people. This argument among European Union member state is still progressing toward a more standardized EU immigration policy.

Reference:

https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-21674-4_3

https://www.voanews.com/europe/eu-divided-again-question-migrant-burden-sharing

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/sep/23/eu-nations-come-to-italys-aid-over-relocating-migrants

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-44633606

The Singing Revolution: Music for Independence

Josselyn Rodas | CONF 340 | October 28th, 2019

When we think about the word, “revolution”, we usually paint a picture of a momentous event with loud expressions and fists raised up high. We don’t typically think of a music festival in this context. For example, when we think of the word “music”, it can connote a range of emotions whether they be of happiness or even hardship but not necessarily a revolution. When would we relate a political revolution to music? Well, in June 1988, Estonia created a relationship between music and a revolution; known as the “Singing Revolution”. Estonia has had a history of utilizing music as a coping mechanism for its citizens. Dating back to as early as the 1800s, music festivals were held that were filled with double entendres in the lyrics during the era of the U.S.S.R, eventually becoming the Soviet Union. Music gave Estonia a platform and a voice to express themselves amongst one another through songs and in unity. It was the Singing Revolution in the 1980s that allowed Estonia to create their own revolution. Through five long nights of singing for their independence from Soviet control, Estonian’s sang their songs of protest until their goal was achieved. Estonia gained their independence from the former Soviet Union in 1991 through music; a nonviolent protest.

Courtesy of https://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/estonias-singing-revolution-4691/
Statue of Gustav Ernesaks – Director of Estonian Male Choir – at the Song Festival Grounds

The Estonian Singing Revolution is an example of a nonviolent protest that can be a resource for everyone to learn from. Utilizing nonviolence for protest, and in this case by means of music, is applicable to people and communities of all ages. Although it can be implemented in a variety of different educational settings, it is most suited for settings of practicing nonviolent protests but can also be implemented in classes that have the ability to touch on the history of peaceful protests. Because nonviolence practices are not limited to age, it can be useful to younger audiences and adults. Educating the youth on nonviolence through history and with relatable examples like music, can serve as a successful tool to inform formal classrooms about nonviolence.

Educators can implement this source through nonviolence educating workshops. This includes teaching what nonviolence protests are and practicing it. By discussing with classrooms what different forms of nonviolence practices exist and learning the historical significance of these forms of protest, the example of the Singing Revolution is a helpful resource that shows a new method of nonviolence. I believe it is important to show that nonviolent protests are not done in just one way. They can include a variety of practices and the Singing Revolution is one of many forms of expressions applicable.

This source is supported by nonviolence peace education. The Singing Revolution was a protest done for raising awareness through solely singing; without the use of force in any physical way. It is supported by this form of peace education because of how it was conducted and the type of practice it used to create a protest. Students engaging with this source can gain skills of nonviolent practices, knowledge on peaceful protests, and find new tools to apply to their own ideas of peaceful protests. I believe this source will allow students to view peaceful protests in not only its definition but in a relatable aspect. It is important to have learners be able to not only be educated on peace education but also allow them to explore what peace education means and can mean.

Two specific stakeholders who may find this source and my post beneficial include nonviolent protests educators and nonprofit organizations. Nonviolence educators can use this source as an example to their classrooms when teaching about the history of peaceful protests and the many methods applicable to protesting nonviolently. Nonprofit organizations can organize workshops that support teaching nonviolence practices like in ways such as the Singing Revolution.

Historical events such as the Singing Revolution serve as great examples that peaceful protesting can be conducted in more than one way and still be just as effective. The Singing Revolution serves as a form of protest that shows audiences that their voice can be heard by singing their hearts out which can lead to something as groundbreaking like attaining freedom and gaining independence.

References:

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2015/11/estonia-music-singing-revolution/415464/

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/estonias-singing-revolution-4691/

Women’s Rights in Oman

Hwarang Kim | CONF 340 | October 21, 2019

Evening view of Muscat, Oman

Abstract

Oman is a beautiful country located in the Middle East. On the world map, it is right next to UAE (United Arab Emirates). Since I spent my childhood there for several years, I have grown up under Oman’s culture. With my personal experiences and online resources, I would like to share some stories and introduce a hidden aspect that visitors do not easily face. Hopefully, this article provides general information of Oman and ongoing problem under the iceberg.

Image used:

https://www.britannica.com/place/Oman

Background

Many countries in the Middle East are fairly wealthy with plenty of oil. Oman is an Islamic country and Arabic is most spoken language. Unlike other neighboring nations with gun shots and bombings, Oman is like an oasis in the desert. Conflicts can never be seen rather it is just too peaceful. However, Omanis suffered from the dictatorship of previous Sultan, Said Ill bin Taimur. Thanks to new leader, Qaboos bin Said al Said, Oman became a country as it is now. He took over his father in 1970 and still maintains his position. Since 1970, the economy has grown so fast under his hands. Citizens respect him in many ways that his achievements are being educated in schools. Qaboos bin Said has a very good relationship with Queen Elizabeth II that his children are off to the United Kingdom for education. There were also times where she visited Muscat, Oman. Tight bonds with UK is another component for Oman’s security and economy.

“Everyone in this nation is equal. There isn’t any difference between big and small, rich and poor; for equality mandates, everyone to be siblings under the umbrella of social justice.”

– Sultan Qaboos of Oman

Under the iceberg

Visitors or newcomers of knowledge in Oman does not know about Omani women. They may be ordinary and satisfied with their lives in such a peaceful country, their rights and belongings are rather “missing”. According to the government of UK, women have to cover all parts of their body excluding their hands. On the other hand, men are more free to wear in public places. Men are also allowed to marry up to four women. This journal will handle gender-based discrimination, especially in the case of women.

Women can only be married to one man. If they chose to divorce or re-marry, they lose their child custody. In contrast, men still holds custody of every child being a “legal” guardian. This is unfair and not acceptable in other countries. Furthermore, there are no laws that mentions prohibition of neither domestic violence nor marital rape. Thus, sexual violence or harass frequently occurred (Wermuth, 2016).

Resources used:

https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/oman/local-laws-and-customs

https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2017/country-chapters/oman

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 2women.jpg

Picture taken by me (2009) – 2 women dancing in my home

Living in Oman was such a new experience and a culture shock as I am born between a Korean father and mother. On the weekends, there is nothing wrong with seeing a men walking in front and three wives and kids following in a mall. There were also times where three to four wives would shop together to purchase fruits and ingredients for cooking. Since I have grown up, appellations between wives and kids are a rising question.

Opportunity

Government under Sultan Qaboos is reinforcing laws for a better nation. They also need to set a focus to gender related laws to be more stricter. This will allow men to behave less violent against women. It is an opportunity for admirable Sultan Qaboos to make its nation a better place for both men and women to live. Perhaps, Oman could be a perfect nation to reside. Other than discrimination issue, I have never countered any problematic barrier.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is desert.jpg

Picture taken by me (2012) – Salalah desert

Ultimate goal of this article is to introduce a topic that people never thought about. The means of people include former teacher, community worker, non-profit organization, journalist, or even students like me. It would be satisfactory to me if this resources could contribute one’s understanding or to be strengthen by suggesting additional implementations.

Learning gender equality is significant part of peace education. I have a strong faith in the future of gender difference. It is important to accept difference between a man and woman. Therefore, we must respect each other for a better community. To successfully understand gender equality, one must have knowledge, have positive attitude, and implement it in real life.

In conclusion, whatever the issue is in a global world, I believe there is always a solution for peace-building and it is our ultimate goal for the world to maintain a ‘perpetual peace’. I hope this blog helps both students and teachers specifically because I may be a great source for you to get to know my personal experiences. For professionals in this field, I may only be part of a source since I do not owe any paper. To think deeper on this topic, I have prepared some questions:

Oman is one of the peaceful countries in the Middle East, why do you think it has maintained its security for a long time?

Gender inequality is an another topic to write a whole paper about. If you were to state just one reason for its effect, what would it be and why.

If you were to suggest a possible resolution for gender equality in Oman, what would it be?

Building Capacity For Peace Through Art

Se Young Yoo / CONF 340 / October 21, 2019

Abstract

When talking about conflict resolution processes in culture, artistic tools and strategies have the ability to be successful. People feel touched unconsciously from the artworks. For peace to replace violence, broken relationships are re-created using an array of processes that address trauma, transform conflict, and do justice. These processes give people opportunities to create long-term, sustainable solutions to address their needs. Therefore, this article is aimed to provide a guidance that educating and building capacity for peace through art for people who are dealing with the conflict.  

Moreover, this article can be used for diverse groups of people suffering from conflicts and art therapists. The art in education can encourage and support people to gain new perspective about conflict and its transformation through movement, creative expression, and embodied experience. Such approaches seek to increase awareness of non-verbal communication, generate fresh perspectives, and enact behavioral change in the midst of conflict, chaos, uncertainty, and rapid change.

Mexican Muralism Movement

Like most countries in Latin America, Mexico has a painful history of conquering immigrants. Independence sent all of Latin America into delight, but the ensuing era of chaos brought them to despair again. Confusion has naturally led to the tyranny of the powerful. In Mexico, the famous dictatorship of Porfirio Diaz has long groaned Mexico. This was ended by the revolution began in 1910, but the revolution was only the beginning. The multi-racial population composition, the extreme gap between the rich and the poor, and the serious confrontation between the social classes, remained an urgent issue after the revolution. Those who succeeded in the revolution needed to unite Mexico, and the model presented for this was the “Mestizo.” The term Mestizo refers to the mixed race of a Spanish American and an American Indian, but from now on it describes as an ideal race for the Mexican. Thus, the movement of research began to be carried out in order to push aside an old-fashioned heritage what is now Spanish, and to emphasize the ethnic identity of other civilized European countries, especially Britain and France.

The Mexican government began the mural movement by reducing the need to create an integrated Mexican culture and providing the walls of public buildings to revolutionary artists in order to integrate the mestizo, which emerged as a new class, into the national culture and establish social homogeneity and ideology.

Mexico’s mural movement centered around Diego Rivera in 1921. Diego Rivera faithfully followed the Mestizo nationalism suggested by Minister of Education, Jose Vasconcelos or anthropologist Manuel Gamio, glorifying the Indio past as the starting point of a new national history, and portraying the mixed race, Mestizo, as the center of a new identity. Diego Rivera, Jose Clemente Orozco, and David Alfaro Siqueiros are known for three great artists of muralism. Specifically, Diego Rivera faithfully promoted the achievements of the Mexican revolution by presenting the country, the organizer of the mural art movement, as the new leader of unity. Diego Rivera interpreted Mexico’s history as a dichotomy between internal and intruders, a hostile structure advocated by Mexican nationalism, and painted murals that faithfully embodied the dichotomy of the people against the landlord oligarchs and upper-tier Bourgeoisie.

Diego Rivera (1886-1957) – one of three great painters in Mexico

Although the mural movement is strongly initiated by the needs of the government, but it cannot be seen as simply a government-led movement. Because the artists who participated had their own firm ideology and became an art movement centering on them. Thus, this mural movement is not just a political propaganda but an example of formative arts that harmonize the beauty of content and form. With the historic mission of leading the people, the artists tried to actively participate in society instead of just staying as a painter, recognizing that walls are not personal and can be a powerful mass mediator. Given the circumstances of the time when the majority were illiterate, the use of murals may have been a natural choice. It is also a reflection of the times that they have come to use a method of realism that is easy to reach the people rather than a Western modernity inclined to abstract trends. Once the purpose of mural painting was to serve as a text to the people, the realistic and descriptive way of expression would have been very effective. The goal of mural painting was to bring national unity from ancient Aztec civilians to memories of brutal conquest to independence from it and subsequent trials, and eventually hope for a new society that was acquired through revolution. Such a total history is well illustrated in one of the three great artists of the mural movement, Diego Rivera’s “History of Mexico.” The vast historical trend in Diego’s murals would have allowed Mexicans looking at the murals to look back on their ancestors and feel that their minds are connected to their present state, tying themselves and other compatriots on a single line. This creates one strong ideology, or nationalism. Also, the heroes of the revolution painted in murals would have offered them a sense of pride that was daunting and hope for the future.

The History of Mexico-mural in the National Palace in Mexico City

The Influence of Mexican Mural Movement

The Mexican muralism was an art movement that sought to popularize art which was owned only by the privileged class and, on the other hand, a nationalist and cultural movement that sought to find traditional Mexican culture by advocating anti-imperialism and anti-colonialism. Also, the mural movement itself was for the public, so in some murals it served as a spokesperson for conveying the needs of the public. Furthermore, it serves as the cornerstone of the mural movement not only in the United States but also in Latin America and African countries in the 1960s. Among the American painters who participated as assistants in the making of murals at the time were Ben Shahn (1898-1969), best known for his works of social realism, and Jackson Pollock (1912-1956), who later became a pioneer of abstract expressionism with “action painting.”

The mural movement in Mexico visually symbolizes the value or belief, history, culture and vision of Mexicans, and members of the community identify their community-related identities through symbolic works. In this cyclical process, unconscious emotions toward mural paintings are shared among community members, creating a sense of community, such as belonging and unity. After all, the mural movement serves to unify the members of the community.

Ways to use this source

In order to use this source effectively,

  • This article only provides a case of the Mexican mural movement and its effect to the society. If you are willing to explore more about Mexican muralism, you need to research about the history and background information of it.
  • Furthermore, you can discuss about the fact that limitations of artworks. Since murals painted in realistic form to make it easier for the people to understand. In other words, the artist’s subjective thoughts can be conveyed on to what people almost perfectly. In this case, the viewer becomes a passive object that simply accepts the artist’s ideas. Thus, the values and ideas that the artist possesses are very powerful. From this point, you can have a debate whether to what extent should political intervention or social reflection be allowed in art?
  • This article might be useful when discussing a non-violent social movement.

You may share this article or questions below to your students or colleagues:

  • How to find strategic ways of incorporating the arts into the conflict resolution and to create a space where people in conflict can reconcile themselves through arts?
  • Should art remain in its own area, not in any way related to politics?
  • In order to succeeds non-violent social movement such as Mexican Mural Movement, what is the most important aspect?

References:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p05pnzp2

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p05pnzp2

https://www.moma.org/collection/terms/183

https://www.diegorivera.org/

Learning for Peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Cherin Yoon | CONF 340 | October 14, 2019

Education provides children with opportunities to escape poverty and motivations for building a promising future. However, conflict and fragility act as a huge obstacle to accessing and maintaining quality education.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), nearly 7 million children aged 5 to 17 are out of school, and about half of girls aged 5 to 17 do not go to school. As one of the poorest countries in the world, the DRC has not been able to promote quality education due to numerous vulnerabilities, including the economic recession caused by decreased raw material costs, the political fragility resulting from the upsurge of social crises, natural disasters, and unstable school infrastructure.

However, education is critical to establishing peaceful, united societies. It can be greatly influential when it is equitably available, of good quality, conflict-sensitive, and relevant. It lays the groundwork for development of various aspects of the country, including economy, governance, equality, identity and culture, which can ultimately help address the variables that incite conflict.

Therefore, in the case of the DRC, UNICEF has been working to protect the children’s rights and help children fulfill their potential by connecting education and peace-building. UNICEF aims to create safe and secure learning environments and provide the youth with development opportunities, which can critically contribute to peace in the region.

To be specific, UNICEF initiated the Learning for Peace program to enhance the ability of the citizens in the DRC to live inclusively and harmoniously. The program is a partnership between UNICEF, the Government of the Netherlands, the national governments of 14 participating countries and other key advocates. As illustrated in the video below, the initiative aims to strengthen the role of education in building peace in areas at risk or affected by conflict.

Created with the support of local communities in the DRC, the film gives an overview of the UNICEF Learning for Peace Program which has impacted the lives of more than 2 million children and citizens in West and Central Africa since 2012.

The program encourages communities to incorporate peace-building activities into schools. By using school as a place to target various members of the community, it helps build bridges between conflicting parties. Teachers lead activities that promote social cohesion within the school. Children have become main actors in peace by being a part of peace committees and planning activities such as sporting events, talks and plays to raise awareness in their communities. Teenagers also had the chance to express themselves and organize activities in adolescent clubs. As a meeting point between discordant groups, schools have held community events and brought parents who used to be unwilling to get along with each other.

Two important stakeholders in this project are the government of the DRC and UNICEF. In post-conflict situations where education is very important, the government has been able to re-open schools in the villages with the support of UNICEF. The government’s support for awareness campaign to convince parents to send their children back to school shows how schools can offer a great opportunity to learn to live together again and return to peace. To successfully achieve the goals of the program, it is essential for UNICEF to actively invest in long-term, sustainable development of the program in the DRC, a conflict-affected nation that is in desperate need of a great amount of humanitarian assistance following various local crises.

References
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0T6JRjdbeOE
https://www.unicef.org/sites/default/files/2018-10/F_UNICEF1006_LFP_R3-online_single.pdf
https://www.unicef.org/stories/learning-for-peace-democratic-republic-congo