Nonkilling Arts Research Committee Letter: Vol. 3, N. 4 (Jul-Aug 2019)

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Nonkilling Arts Research Committee Letter: Vol. 3, N. 4 (Jul-Aug 2019)

Bimestrially sent from our site: Nonkilling.org.

“Nonkilling art explores the spirit and practice of how to prevent, respond to, and to improve individual, social, and global well-being beyond killing.” —Glenn D. Paige

Dear NKARC members and friends,

Grateful thanks for your thoughtful contributions on the Nonkilling arts. As always, these are eclectic and inspirational, awakening our passion to protect and connect with life.

1. Nonkilling Poetry

The Meaning and Purpose of Life: A Nonkilling View

By Francisco Gomes de Matos

ABA Global Education, Recife, Brazil

The meaning of Life?

LIFE is meaningful

 when to NONVIOLENCE we commit

 and NO KILLING we admit

 When globally PEACE we edify

 and all forms of LIFE on EARTH we dignify

 To give deeper meaning to LIFE?

 The nonviolence-PEACE-nonkilling continuum together let’s  navigate

 and Life-supportingly/sustainingly

 we’ll educate

The purpose of Life?

Life is purposeful

It is everchanging

and also challenging

Life is a daily what to do

that calls for an effective how to do

It is embedded in a wise why to do

Life is creatively communicative: it can bring together me and you

to serve Humanity and always be true

***

August is a grim reminder of dropping of the American Atomic Bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1946;  little has been done by nuclear weapons owning countries to end the Nuclear terror, the nuclear disarmament worldwide continues on our “a daily what to do” list. Maureen Korp’s reflective poem below is a sad reminder:

Home as a Fallout Shelter by Maureen Korp

nb. Long, long ago, for two years (1957-59), my

family and I

lived in Oklahoma where my father was posted.

At that

time, public service announcements on the TV

concerned

the importance of building fallout shelters.

Instructions included

lining walls with books to absorb radiation

dust, plus something

to read while awaiting the “all clear signal.”

We had no shelter,

and my father refused to build one–not even

one like the

neighbours had in readiness for use as a

tornado shelter.

Years later I understood this refusal

better. He was an American

soldier. His area of expertise was tactical

atomic weaponry, ie,

the 280mm “atomic cannon.” In 1959 we headed

off to Germany.

His battalion had two of those “cannons.”

***

Yet on the other side of the window, the Pointe Editions poet Germain Droogenbroot reminds us of a Peaceful Panorama:

On the other side of the window

a garden with orange trees

Intoxicating

the perfume of the blossoms

No people

no cars

a cloudless heaven

Only a blackbird

praising the perfection

of silence.

Garden of Muses, Selianitiko, Greece, 19.4.2019

CHILDREN’S PEACE POETRY –

This attractive book published by IFLAC has poems and peace drawings by children from 27 countries, edited by Ada Ahroni & Jeremy Seligson, its key message is Create A WORLD BEYOND WAR! eBook copy on Amazon – ASIN: B07S658DFM.

2. Nonkilling and Photography

1989 Tiannamen Square student protests

The poem on Tiannamen Square by Maureen Korp in the last Letter brought in  reflections fm NKARC colleagues to salute those involved in that courageous civil protest against state authority. Three pieces for your kind attention:  

(i) A photo feature from the New York Times of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protest through the lens of a student witness, Jian Liu reveals images he took of the hopeful student movement and its bloody aftermath. These are from the 60 rolls of film Liu kept hidden from public view for three decades. Liu was a 20-year-old fashion design student in Beijing in the spring of 1989. Captivated by the spirit of the movement, he photographed the protest for about 50 days. He notes, exhilarated by the protesters’ bold demands for greater freedom and an end to corruption, he set out to capture their enthusiasm and zeal.

(ii) and (iii) Moved by Maureen Korp’s original poem, a reflection from NKARC colleague Clay Edwards and an article from The Guardian. Clay writing from his philosophy vantage point notes: “You may remember learning about the incident described by the Guardian in the article I have pasted below, and which was sent by a friend of mine living in Taiwan. The feelings about this incident are very strong and well-founded. However, I am afraid that journalism takes on subjects in opinion that fail to help people manage the problems associated with tyranny, particularly in misusing the term ‘politics’ to describe incompetence and ignorance.

Political scientists need to come to their calling to describe the subject of politics accurately or journalists will simply stir up feelings of resentment and impotence in their readers and not educate them as to the standards we need to set as truth in art and science. Plato argued that philosophy in art is the practice of pursuing knowledge, not hoarding it or ignoring it in the course of discussing knowledge. Perceptions or feelings we may have about tyranny, killing and threats to kill are candidates for knowledge, but should not be mistaken as knowledge which can only be understood in the doing. We need to pursue politics in art and recognize it in science, bringing knowledge of what to observe to problem-solving. Paige identified killing and threats to kill as a problem and Plato in the Gorgias described killing and threats to kill as incompetent conduct in rhetoric of rhetoricians and weak-minded, strong-willed tyrants who in such actions demonstrate they wield no great power in the state… Politics in statecraft is a difficult art, requiring great discipline in human relationships.”

3. Nonkilling Doc Film

(i) Meeting Gorbachev, a new documentary film by Werner Herzog.  

Mikhail Gorbachev, former president of the Soviet Union, a champion of nonkilling politics, sits down with filmmaker Werner Herzog to discuss his many ground breaking achievements. Topics include the talks to reduce nuclear weapons, the reunification of Germany and the dissolution of his country. I recall reading years ago Gorbachev telling US President Reagan, instead of arms race, why not  have a competition on who disarms their nuclear arsenal fastest.

• Meeting Gorbachev (2018) by Werner Herzog and Andre Singer (trailer)

• Review at NY Times.

(ii) The Beginning of the End of Nuclear Weapons (film documentary)

A new documentary tells the story of the journey to securing the UN Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons. Through interviews and archival footage, the film relates how the campaign’s core message — “human beings are destroyed by nuclear weapons” — eventually won the day. The title, The Beginning of the End of Nuclear Weapons, is a reference to the speech made by Setsuko Thurlow to the assembled throng of dignitaries and International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear weapons (ICAN) campaigners, during her Nobel Laureate Speech in December 2017. The film charts the story of the development of the atomic bomb through to the negotiations to prohibit nuclear weapons, and is told through the interventions of 14 people whose roles have been key in the fields of activism and diplomacy.

4. Visual Arts and Nonkilling

Response to Lodhi Colony graffiti wall art from Francisco Gomes De Matos reflection in following tweet

GRAFFITI is known as an urban art

Does it come from a humble heart?

Does the message it contains

show the DIGNITY it sustains?

#fgomesdematos

The New Delhi wall murals meet Francisco’s above street art criterion.

5. Nonkilling and Peace MArch

Jai Jagat Peace Campaign: 2020 Geneva Summit and 10,000 Km Long March from New-Delhi to Geneva

The sets of actions planned by Jai Jagat (Victory to Universe/Planet Earth!) campaign are underway, these are based on a threefold strategy: (i) a series of nonviolent marches (walks) from different countries that will culminate in Geneva in September 2020; The 10,000 Km Long March with 100 volunteers will commence this year on October 2nd at Rajghat, New Delhi; (ii) an interaction between young people, and in dialogue with the UN bodies to advocate achieving genuine change through the proper implementation of the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) ; and (iii) an eight-day forum on local initiatives in Geneva from 25 September to 3 October 2020, where grass roots (people and groups) can share alternatives and best practices to further their local actions for global change.

Social movements are encouraged to bring people together to courageously press for agendas of change for the weakest sections of the population. At the same time, they are not meant to provoke power holders, and strive to pre-empt opposition as much as possible. The focus is on generating dialogue. If there is no dialogue, only demands, then the issues remain unresolved.

Jai Jagat organizers write that their vision is of ahimsa (nonviolence) that guides and motivates human action. The practice of nonviolence is not just for bringing about external change; it is also a way of life, and for this, one has to continually overcome one’s own inner violence. Mahatma Gandhi’s use of satyagraha (translated as ‘truth force’) was to find inner power to overcome obstacles and carry out external change. Reforming institutions of education, economy and politics are key to bringing change. Building a society based on peace will involve mainstreaming nonviolence and nonkilling in all government departments, institutions and policies.

6. Nonkilling Cultures

(i) Sarajevo Nonkilling Cultures Summit
By Joam Evans Pim
The “2nd International Women’s Summit: Nonkilling Cultures” was held in Sarajevo on June 19 with a week long program. The Summit was organized by Kolo: Women’s Cross Cultural Collaboration, together with the Center for Global Nonkilling and other partners including the Bosnian-American Genocide Institute and Education Center, the International University of Sarajevo, Southern Connecticut State University and Women for Women. The Summit was conceived around the theme “Women’s Issues: Trauma Healing Practices, Nonkilling Cultures- Motherhood, Empowerment in Feminist Narratives.” Nonkilling was a cross-cutting theme of the presentations as well as a keynote by Dr. Danica Anderson (2019 Summit Chair). The Summit continued the legacy of the “Nonkilling Balkans Exploratory Forum” held in Sarajevo in August, 2014, which concluded with the Sarajevo Declaration for a Nonkilling Balkans and a collective volume Nonkilling Balkans.

(ii) Nonkilling Art and Pain: The Holocaust and the Nakba
By Hamid Dabashi
Inspired by a current Holocaust exhibition in New York with more than 700 original items from Auschwitz and 400 photographs, Dabashi in this thoughtful article raises the question if we as humans can feel the pain of others? He refers to a recently published volume, The Holocaust and the Nakba: A New Grammar of Trauma and History (2018), edited by Bashir Bashir and Amos Goldberg, wherein a number of leading scholars and critical thinkers reflect on the differences and similarities of the two traumatic events. He notes: “And it is precisely here where the Jew and the Palestinian can come together. The point in this volume is not to assimilate these two collective horrors into each other. Rather, the point is the common emotive universe in which Jews and Palestinians can converse from the site of their collective traumas, addressing the suffering and pain of the other.”

7. Nonkilling Reflections

(i) Andy Curtis interviews Francisco Gomes de Matos on Peace Linguistics in TESL Reporter
Prof. Gomes de Matos describes Peace Linguistics to be “languages and varieties thereof as systems used for communicatively dignifying and peaceful purposes. Peace linguists are educated to help change ordinary language users into peaceful language users… I see an immediate future in which possibly M.A. dissertations and PhD theses will be written on the structures, uses, and effects of Peace Linguistics.”

(ii) From Stephen G. Post, the April TIME special edition on Science of Good and Evil by Kate Rope
In the April TIME SPECIAL EDITION on THE SCIENCE OF GOOD & EVIL. Kate Rope writes about the importance of Goodness of Good Deeds. Citing social psychologist Stephen Post, she writes: “When you get your mind off the problems of the self and just ask,”what can I do to contribute to lives of others, you’re in a very healthy place.”

8. Nonkilling Research

New Books, Theses, and CGNK Updates

• Nonkilling Global Political Science in Japanese: A milestone in the last sixteen years of Nonkilling Global Political Science translations, last month the Japanese translation came out. This translation of Glenn D. Paige’s classic book makes it the 30th translation in a foreign language. Thanks to Prof. Hidekazu Sakai who continued the work of Prof. Yukio Okamoto and Mona Ohya K. Meyer on the book. It’s now available from:  Satsuriku naki gurobaru seijigaku ( 殺戮なきグローバル政治学 ). ISBN 9784623085491.

 

• Give Nonkilling a Chance: Are Nonkilling Societies Possible? (2019), editor Prof. Anoop Swarup – Konrak Publishers, New-Delhi. An impressive collection of scholarly essays released by Konrak Publishers, explores the wide scope of nonkilling possibilities. This new hardcover book, is edited by CGNK Governing Council Chair Prof. Anoop Swarup. The 400-page collection includes original contributions as well as the editor’s introduction that develops the concept of “affirmative nonkilling” plus select papers from other Nonkilling Studies series. Dr Swarup is the founding Vice Chancellor of Jagran Lakecity University, Bhopal and a Fellow of Royal Society of Arts (FRSA, London).

• Matthew Legge’s  book, Are We Done Fighting? Building Understanding in a World of Hate and Division. Are We Done Fighting? is brimming with the latest research, practical activities, and inspirational stories of success for cultivating inner change and spreading peace at the community level and beyond. Coverage includes:

    • An explanation of the different styles of conflict

    • Cognitive biases that help explain polarized and lose-lose positions

    • Practical methods and activities for changing our own and others’ minds

    • When punishment works and doesn’t, and how to encourage discipline in children without using violence

    • The skill of self-compassion and ways to reduce prejudice in ourselves and others

    • Incredible programs that are rebuilding trust between people after genocide.

• Legacy of Glenn D. Paige and Anthropology of Nonkilling: Prof. Les Sponsel’s research article in the Journal of Peace Education. Also, for those interested in research, study, and teaching of Nonkilling, Prof. Sponsel has put together a comprehensive Syllabus on the Anthropology of War and Peace course given by him at the University of Hawaii.

 

• Department of Peace research thesis at University of Manitoba by Victor Kliever.  A comprehensive research paper on Department of Peace in Canada. Kliever’s thesis provides important contribution to the evolving literature in this field.

 

• Small Arms Survey Reports 2017 Rise in Global Violent Deaths by Joam Evans Pim. The Geneva-based Small Arms Survey has released a briefing paper summarizing the data collected by the organization measuring violent deaths: Darkening Horizons: Global Violent Deaths Scenarios, 2018—30. The 2017 figures shows an increase in homicides, mostly in Central and South America but affecting the figures for the whole world. According to the Small Arms Survey, in 2017 “589,000 people—including 96,000 women and girls—lost their lives due to lethal violence. This corresponds to a rate of 7.80 violent deaths per 100,000 population, the second highest since 2004.” The figures show an increase in violent death rates are profoundly unsettling. They are also a regress regarding the fulfillment of Sustainable Development Goal 16.1: “To Significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere” by 2030. 

9. Nonkilling Activism and Reports

(i) Agenda for Disarmament by UN Secty General Antonio Gutteres

On May 24, UN Secretary General Antonio Gutteres released a video message highlighting the importance of disarmament, in particular nuclear disarmament.

The video was released on the first anniversary of the launch of ‘Securing Our common Future: An agenda for disarmament’, in which the UNSG highlights key disarmament objectives, makes the links between disarmament and achieving the sustainable development goals, and advances common security approaches to international conflicts in order to enable countries to disarm without jeopardising their security.

“States need to build security through diplomacy and dialogue, not by building new weapons,” said Mr Guterres in his video message. “In our turbulent world, disarmament is the path to preventing conflict and sustaining peace. We must act without delay.”

This was supported by International Women’s Day for Peace and Disarmament, with a joint appeal of women legislators Common security for a sustainable and nuclear-weapon-free world.

(ii) Passing of Peace Activist Murray Thomson – a tribute

Internationally known 96-year-old peace activist died in Ottawa, Canada on May 2, 2019. See the latest posting by Koozma G. Tarasoff on his Spirit Wrestlers blog ‘Murray McCheyne Thomson (1922-2019) Murray Thomson will be remembered as a long-time advocate for a world of peace and justice. He was recipient of the Order of Canada as well as the Pearson Peace Medal and was cofounder of more than 7 peace organizations from 1976 to 2012. Tarasoff writes: “In October 2008 we published Murray’s proposal that the traditional Canadian peace groups — Doukhobors, Mennonites and Quakers — unite to stimulate an anti-NATO initiative, to promote a world without wars. Murray indeed will be missed. He played violin, had a great connection to people, with lots of enthusiasm and authority as well as humour. He was a renaissance man of peace — and he and his deeds need to be remembered so as to help us save our civilization from the scourge of wars.”

(iii) CGNK’s UN Rep Christophe Barbey at Human Rights Council in Geneva informs about completion of the Universal Periodic Review of Mauritius where key recommendations made by CGNK were addressed: “Our recommendations on the Genocide and enforced disappearances conventions, on the death penalty (abolished in practice), on violence prevention, on democratic participation and on human rights reporting were upheld by other States and presented to Mauritius. The ones on peace infrastructures, policies and treaties were mentioned in the High Commissioner’s report. As such all our recommendations have been addressed or mentioned a way or another.”

(iv) In Memoriam Margaret Ebby – a Nonkilling Mennonite colleague

Margaret Ebby (1936-2019) was a faithful fiduciary to veterans. She was dedicated to schools for children in Haiti, El Salvador, and the Congo. She supported the University of Hawaii Matsunaga Institute of Peace, Center for Global Nonkilling, and numerous causes. Within Akron Mennonite Church, she led efforts to integrate refugees from the Congo.

10. Nonkilling Jounalism

(i) The Dissent of a 90-Year-Old, Address by Hon. Douglas Roche, O.C. the recipient of Sean MacBride Peace Prize, Toronto, April 25, 2019

Hon. Douglas Roche: “I have found that, for me, personal creativity is the best way to express my dissent. The two groups that I have led, Parliamentarians for Global Action and the Middle Powers Initiative, provided outlets for me to inject energy into the political systems. Dissent can become creative when we care enough about failed public policies to do something to move forward. Out of our grief and anxieties, we build a new basis of hope.”

(ii) Shattering the Context of War by Bob Koehler

Koehler commenting on Julian Assange’s indictment by USA raises the issue of the meaning of journalism in a democracy, writes: “Assange’s indictment is his red badge of courage. We can’t depend on large institutions to stand up for democracy. The larger the institution, the more absorbed it is likely to be in its own preservation and the success of its agenda. Democracy requires people outside the circle of power, both governmental and corporate, to maintain an adversarial relationship with power and endlessly dig for its secrets. This is called journalism.”

Last Word

Praying Nonkillingly

June 28 marks the 90th birth anniversary of CGNK’s founder late Professor Glenn D. Paige. His soldier to scholar to CGNK founder journey has been inspirational and transformative for many of us. The following poetic offering in the form of an attractive poster of six sublime Nonkilling Pleas by Prof. Francisco Gomes de Matos highlight the essence of the Paige Nonkilling Paradigm. These peace renderings should be posted all over where people believe in abolition of Killing as the core of their humanity. 

My deep gratitude to all who contributed and pointed to the material for

the Letter.

Looking forward to your inspirations and comments as always.

Nonkillling regards,

Bill

Bill (Balwant) Bhaneja

Coordinator

NonKilling Arts Research Committee (NKARC)

Center for Global Nonkilling (CGNK)

www.nonkilling.org

“Nonkilling Culture crosses all the lines.” —Glenn D. Paige

Nonkilling is THE measure of Human progress

[THIS IS AN INTERNAL NEWSLETTER OF THE NKARC. COPYRIGHT FOR ALL MATERIAL IN THE NEWSLETTER REMAINS PROPERTY OF THE SOURCES/WRITERS/ART CREATORS.]

{ For back issues of NKARC Letter, see Nonkilling Arts page of CGNK site }

Stay in contact also on Social Networks

• Please feel free to contact NKARC Letter’s coordinator at billbhaneja@nonkilling.org.

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