Notes from Kirthi Jayakumar, a juror for the World Peace Project: A Global Art Initiative
Kirthi Jayakumar lives in Chennai, India. She is the internationally recognized activist, peace educator and lawyer who founded The Gender Security Project, and formerly founded and ran The Red Elephant Foundation supporting peace-building and activism for gender equality.
She has received significant accolades for her work, including three United States Presidential Services Medals, among many other regional and international awards.
After viewing the 116 World Peace Project finalists and reading each artisan’s corresponding notes about peace, she offered these comments:
Observations: I have had a beautifully refreshing and truly peaceful time just soaking into the pieces of art across the board. The artists have all been very mindful of interpreting peace from the personal to the political – there has been so much introspection in each piece – I wish there was a way to see these pieces in person. I am deeply moved by the depth of thought, wisdom, and collective connection in each piece. Thank you so much for the opportunity to receive, breathe with, and hold on to the art. Here are the names of my favourite World Peace Project artworks, and my reasons why.
Impermanence by Pietrina Checcacci
Reason: At its simplest form, conflict emerges from the human tendency to control / claim space and resources by asserting dominance as one identity over another. Impermanence by Pietrina Checcacci really shook me up because it helped me see how in an abundant universe, our attempts to “hold on” and “control” are divisive, and that there really is very little that we can truly gain from fighting with each other, because even our existence is impermanent. What a POWERFUL representation of peace!
Songs of Peace AND Sowing Honesty, both by Teofilo Choquecahua
Reason: Songs of Peace was such a beautiful representation of peace. To me, it came across as a powerful representation of interconnection within diversity – the idea of weaving is a beautiful representation of a very long standing artform that is also a metaphor for community, intersectionality, and connection.
No One Lets Go by Anamaria Vieira
Reason: This piece really moved me to tears. As someone that is learning what peace looks like within, it drove home the idea that true liberation comes from surrender, letting go, and freeing oneself from codependent attachment, while still being supportive, welcoming, enabling of others’ liberation and wellbeing.
The Barriers Fall by Soledad Borel
Reason: The sheer idea of walls crumbling is one of the most powerful representations of peace I have chanced upon in recent times – I truly enjoyed the artist’s interpretation of it.