Peace and Disarmament
"Transforming the Human Spirit" Shown at Roehampton University, UK
The SGI exhibition, "From a Culture of Violence to a Culture of Peace: Transforming the Human Spirit" (THS) was shown at Roehampton University from January 22-24. The event was organized by the university's Human Rights Society and SGI-UK's Youth Peace Committee, with the support of local SGI-UK members. Nearly 400 visitors came to see the exhibition over the weekend.
On January 24, some of the university's postgraduate Erasmus Mundus international human rights students attended the exhibition and joined a youth forum where some 80 youth discussed nuclear abolition with guest speakers such as Nicholas J. Wheeler, professor of International Politics at Aberystwyth University; Jason Hart, lecturer in International Development at the University of Bath and research associate at Oxford University; Carole Naughton of the Acronym Institute and WMD Awareness Programme; and Tim Street from the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN).
In his talk, Professor Wheeler said, "We all have agency to make a difference and it is our ideas that have got us together here. So, by changing values, practices, ideas and mindsets--this is the key to abolishing nuclear weapons. This exhibition shows how change and transformation can come from the grassroots and the key is to look for ways to promoting trust in the interpersonal and international spheres."
One youth commented that the forum allowed for the realization that peace begins with each of us cherishing the person in front of us and the people in our communities and countries.
The THS exhibition shows how nuclear weapons, war, violence, name calling, indifference or apathy--anything within the spectrum of violence--works to spread despair and disempowerment among individuals and communities. It also explains how change ultimately comes down to each person overcoming his or her own feelings of powerlessness through courageous and persistent efforts to create and hold on to hope and share this hope with others.
[Adapted from an article in the February 2, 2011, issue of the SGI-UK Online News Bulletin; photos courtesy of James Jordan]