The Role of Arts in Advocating for Respect of Human Diversity
Peace is of essence to all humankind in any part of the world. It enables humans to benefit from equal opportunities in the sense that peace helps us to recognize and respect the diversity of each one of us as we understand the diversity of ethnicity, race, gender etc., as well as the social context of appreciating each individual disregarding the physical or mental challenges that an individual may be facing.
Arts play a vital role in preaching the message of peace and love for every individual in the society. Through art, we can share and appreciate the differences of our social context and appreciate the challenges faced especially by the less fortunate in the society such as the physically challenged, the poor, the homeless, immigrants and those who belong to minority religious or ethnic groups. Arts also help us to love and care for the environment as we realize that it is part of our living.
Therefore, being a great advocate of peace and mutual understanding among all humans, I couldn’t fail to seize the opportunity to participate in local puppets and dolls events organized by a local museum in partnership with various puppet theaters to mark the International Day of Peace.
Preaching the Message of Peace through Art Performances
All interested participants were required to come up with creative arts pieces accompanied by a doll or puppets to be submitted alongside their work or to come up with a puppet drama. All the artistic work from the various participants was supposed to preach the message of peace. A panel of judges was set aside to adjudicate the work and award the most creative participant(s).
I teamed up with a group of colleagues from my neighborhood and we went to draft a drama play themed on historical injustices in our country. We were addressing the plight of the poor people, who had showed up during an electoral process and in one spirit voted for a leader whom they believed was worthy to take them to the land of milk and honey. The leader who was the president was a clean man whom everyone believed that would change their current economic situation.
However, as deceit a common feature in politics, there are other junior leaders – congressmen, and representatives of the parliament who found their way into the government. These were old leaders who were accustomed in siphoning off public funds and abusing office. As usual, some had corrupted their way through the electoral process and found themselves ‘in’. They presented themselves as ‘changed individual’ ready to serve the nation and thus they convinced the president to be chosen as cabinet ministers. This clique of leaders and other agendas though. They wanted to carry on with their old habits.
Now realizing that the change of leadership won’t allow them to fill their pockets and rewards their cronies as the used to do in previous eras, they decide to fight the president. They tried to assassinate him only for the assassination to fail. While the president went into comatose for several months resulting from the failed assassination, these corrupt officials started to plot how to overthrow him.
We All Need to Live in Mutual Understanding to Become Peaceful
Then there is this puppet white dove which visits the president in his coma. The dove represents peace. It takes the president through the events that happened earlier and tries to make him realize that he chose a clique of hyenas who are up for no good. There is also an opposing black raven puppet which visits the president too. It symbolizes evil. It encourages him to join forces with the corrupt leaders because that’s the order of the day, failure to which he won’t win the war.
However, the dove sounds more authentic to the presents than the black raven. Therefore when he finally recovers from the coma, he takes time to think and put two and two together. He realizes the mischief of the pretenders and at a public function, he calls for their arrest for the various atrocities and abuse of office that they have been involved in, in previous governments as well as for the plot to assassinate him.
Although, our drama play didn’t win the competition, we were applauded for the best education content as well as we won several awards for our presentation. In essence, we had done the best to preach the message of peace and understanding among all social levels of people.