"Women in Black, Armenia" Peacebuilding Initiative organized its annual event on December 3, which unlike other years was different from the selected format and had created a good opportunity to think and talk about peace from different perspectives.
This time preference was given to photography as a visual media platform, so the initiative organized a photo exhibition, which, by its nature, had the slogan "Resignifying Peace". The program was open to all interested persons 16 years or older, without specialty requirements and was given a chance to use any kind of photographic medium.
The exhibition had a concept as follows:
"War is essentially destructive. It leads to poverty, the destruction of educational and health systems, the deep polarization of gender roles, in the result of which women have low rate of participation in decision making processes. It also leads mass media to spread hate speech, disinformation about the happenings in the result of which they violate our right to information.
In the situations like this we just need to remove the enormous dose of hatred and let ourselves speak about peace. Thus "Resignifying Peace" photo exhibition will be an opportunity to create or become involved in the creation of original ideas of peace".
The exhibition took place on December 3 at #Article3 Club, during which were presented photos symbolizing the views and thoughts of participants about peace, the importance of women’s role in peace process and/or photos symbolizing anti-militarism.
In the beginning of event the member of “Women in Black, Armenia” PeaceBuilding Initiative Arpi Balyan presented her short-movie which was titled “War is Peace”. Here she cited the most popular parabolic quote of George Orwell’s “1984” novel:
“War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength”.
Descriptions of presented photos deserve attention:
“The Survivor” Maybe you’re alone, but your struggle is not in vain, when your purpose is peace.
“The Flight of Freedom” "We seek peace, knowing that peace is the climate of freedom." - Dwight D. Eisenhower
“Peace comes when we know culture, traditions and religion of other nations, when we learn to understand and respect each other”
“I Don’t Have An Owner” Peace begins by decolonization, by the decolonization of my body from the owners, trouts, systems, norms, limits, pressures. When my body is being liberated from patriarchy, decolonization passes beyond my body.
“Garbage Removal” Let’s destroy the ideological machines, which create the other in us, the one who actually is not like that but it’s being reproduced like that in order to fill the pockets of soldier eating dictators and to keep their legitimacy in the fear. Let’s get rid of that garbage.
Yerevan, 2013, in the center of horse riding. Once people went to war with horses and with special uniforms. But today decades have passed from those times and now nobody goes to the battlefield with horses, so the uniforms are left in the cases and it seems like the world is in Peace, but..
“Peace with cohabitation”. When I am tolerant to others, when others are tolerant to my existence, our diversity becomes vital.
In the end of the exhibition all the participants were awarded certificates and received Hannah Arendt’s "We refugees" essay collections, which were translated by a translation program's team from American University of Armenia. "Women in Black" initiative mends to organize a meeting-discussion with the editor and translators of the book next year.