Promoting Peace Through the Arts

Donor: Skanska, Inc.
Local Ally: Centro Colombo Americano de Medellin
Beneficiaries: 350 high school students
Location: Aburrá, Antioquia

Through their “Wishing you Peace” program, the Centro Colombo Americano came up with “Lab 43: Types of Violence vs Strategies & Solutions of Non-Violence”, a workshop where they engaged with high-school students from seven schools. In these workshops, they taught them not only how to recognize the various kinds of violence that exists, but also how to address these and overcome them.

The artist John “Jahni” Moore was invited to lead Lab 43 as he is well-versed on the topic of non-violence and the peaceful strategies used by notable figures, such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the U.S., to access civil rights and help individuals become recognized as equals by society. Through these murals, Moore and the art students from the University of Antioquia were able to reach out to the students so they may understand the lasting effects of their creations on their communities and their peers. 

Even though the most common way to understand violence is as physical aggression, the truth is there are various ways in which violence can be presented: emotional, domestic, psychological, racial, cultural, structural, religious, environmental, among many others. Each of the seven communities chose one of these types, and inspired by their rejection towards violence, art was created. 

At the end of the project, students and artist from all the schools created one mural that promotes peaceful behaviors and actions. Each school contributed one or two section to the mural to show the lessons they learned to say no to the different ways of violence that surround them on their daily basis, and to show that “art can tranform through metaphors”. To read more, please take a look at Lab 43 CatalogoTipos de Violencia.

The result was possible thanks to a whole month of arduous work by young students and their instructors, college artists and John ‘Jahni’ Moore. All of them: a voice of hope to the culture of peace.