Peace is not just the absence of war, but the full development of the human personality based on values, needs, dignity and capacities that, is our belief, it shall be explored also by means of the arts.
Rather than keep focusing on the negative aspect of peace (absence of war), through PlayforRights is our intention to explore the opposite (positive peace) by embracing a humanistic and artistic experience that has the potential to guide civil society to de-escalate conflicts preventing violence at the time that the underlying conflict is resolved.
Since there is no a predetermined recipe that can guarantee peace, we are convinced that are our feelings and emotions a concrete way to bring back humanity. XX century, which was born announcing peace and justice died in a sea of blood leaving a worse version of the world. XXI century is unluckily following the path of its predecessor. In our current competitive world; dehumanizing for many as well as unbalanced, extremely mechanized and bureaucratized -a world which seems to focus on achieving more and more power in an unhealthy competition- it becomes extremely important to empower the inner self (the sensitive person each of us has).
PlayforRights is convinced that human rights have to be recognized beyond a merely analytical contextualization since they are not just duties or given concepts but human values and capacities. Therefore, they have to be represented from their own creativity and art. This very fact allows and develops an innovative awareness related to the full capacities of arts, enlarging peacebuilding and offering at the same time an unusual way to recognize human rights differently. This process definitely would open new ways to recognize community, dialogue, dignity and most important: relationality. For us, this is a unique opportunity that allows civil society the capacity to experience such analytic concepts of human rights from a distinguished human face. Discovering a universal face which is individual, unique; represented in form of art and that applies to all of us. Experiencing human rights through art means to recognize them firstly with the emotions and sensations. This process of understanding human rights can led to innovative and alternative conceptualizations of human rights and universal freedoms. Following such an idea, could indeed help to bridge the gaps between emotion and reason, art and technique and peace and war as well. By doing this we want to encourage communities to experience art beyond its known capacity for trauma healing, reconciliation, restorative justice and voice the voiceless.
Why do we insist on this point of view? Mainly because we believe that art is what makes the individual a full human being. We do not have doubts that peacebuilding is first an art than a technique. We are convinced that any art form has the potential to rescue humanity by contributing to the human progress simply because the idea of controlling everything in society is not in the very nature of art. Hence, any truly art form recognizes the unity in diversity. In fact, art empowers these differences whilst celebrating them. Therefore, through PlayfoRights we enable peace by artistic means while the full potential of art-based approaches in peacebuilding unfolds.
Peace does not necessarily need to have a scientific explanation. Lasting peace is not achieved by following a manual. Scientific method is the most accurate mechanism Man has developed in order to understand everything that comes from human thought. But peace is not just in our thoughts, the same as war and conflicts are not just in limited groups. They all, as harmony or violence, are elements of human existence. Hence, experiencing art, peace and human rights in community-based approaches, it represents metaphoric ways to envision better relationality and improve the human experience.
All in all, PlayforRights encourages the civil society to play its role in human rights encouraging plurality of voices, community experience and individual recognition while celebrating a universal of a culture of peace. All this because since the body is about water and human depth about feelings, then are the sensations who give expression to their very own dignity and peace. Indeed, every human being is about gratitude and gratitude for us is humanity experienced in form of art present in the peace of freedom. We have got into the conclusion that peacebuilding without art is unachievable. In order to experience the miracle of life, one has to be able to contemplate and resonate with the beauty of life. Such is the miracle that it always manifests itself better in a form of art. Hegel stated with precision ‘Art is beauty precisely because gives expression to our freedom’ (Houlgate:2009. Dissertation on Hegel’s Aesthetics).