Conceptually the meaning of peace to me has always invoked a very picturesque idealism. In fact, as a child I remember dreaming and aspiring to one day obtain it, as if it were an object. However, what I’ve learned via my own personal experience and creative endeavors as a woman, as a female artist and now as a mother, is that peace is not rainbows and butterflies.
Peace is not tangible in that we can hold it in the palm of our hands. Peace is tolerance in its highest most glorified form. It is unconditional compassion, upheld by acceptance and fueled by a deep and authentic understanding for difference. Women do not possess some kind of cosmic power that empowers us to magically make peace, instead have we have an innate sensibility and approach that makes us distinctly stand apart from men and contribute to change in a significant way.
The subject of advocating for peace is such a complex one and the participation of women in the process of successful peace building is crucial- Particularly because the role of women, for too long, has been that of victimization, when instead we should be used for our ability to conceptualize dialogue and put forth action based plans that can eventually impact society. Women can contribute from a point of pre-conflict rather than the common post conflict view peace building is often looked at. They can bring a more comprehensive agenda rather than focusing on simply negotiating a-way-out- deal. Through the arts, a most humbling and honest form of expression while being the ultimate aesthetic experience, women can promote messages of peace and engage with intensely felt human apprehensions of the world to problem solve and mediate through the act of art making.
Art speaks to all the senses as well as resonating on a cognitive level, emotional and spiritual too. It can capture you whole and shake you into believing the impossible.