What Peace Means to Me
Children's Art from the Commonwealth
In 1999, the Commonwealth Association of Museums (CAM) held a theme program on Museums, Peace, Democracy and Governance in the 21st Century. From the meeting came the idea of exhibitions on Peace. A strong emphasis of CAM is children and youth and an exhibit on children's ideas of Peace was an obvious project to undertake. A contest was organized to draw children's art from the Commonwealth and over 300 entries were received from 15 countries.
The children and young people who responded to this call were remarkably perceptive about the character of peace and demonstrated similar themes in their art work no matter which countries were their homes. Together their art becomes a vibrant and colourful gift of understanding to all of us about a " culture of peace", depicting the qualities necessary in our societies for human beings to live more productive and harmonious lives instead of struggling in a dangerous, violent and far from peaceful world. Peace is not just the absence of war but an environment in home, community, nation and the world, which enables good physical, mental and spiritual health, harmony in diversity, and productivity in a climate of freedom from poverty and freedom from violence and destruction.
Organized by the Commonwealth Association of Museums
and Supported by the Commonwealth Foundation
Production assisted by the Red Deer and District Museum, Canada
Some Selections from the Exhibit
Peace means that all people on earth should love one another, there should be no war, and if there is peace there will be development in every society, community and country.
In this picture there are some foreigners trying to settle their differences with the local people in a village. They are burning their weapons which they used while fighting in a war.
They have both worked very hard to build two-storey buildings for themselves, that will be used by the government officials of the village. They are all happy about this. The fetish priest is burning the weapons at a grand durbar which was attended by all the people in the village and the foreigners. While the weapons were being burnt by the fetish priest there was dancing near the fire and the local people were singing and jubilating too. They were all happy about that peaceful act which the chief and elders had fought for.
- Benjamin K. O. Ampah, 16 years, Cape Coast, Ghana
In this painting I used different colours to represent the different groups of people in the world. On the left side of the painting, I tried to resemble the world in my eyes. Groups all separated by different things, with the black lines and white words representing those things. On the right I painted what peace would mean to me, all the groups being mixed together, with the happy and peaceful colours around everyone.
- Shannon Pennifold, 14 years, Red Deer, Canada
When a country is at peace, it will develop its agricultural land, factories will be in process, schools will produce intellectuals to plan for the country's development.
- Gilbert Quansah-Hayford, 17 years, Cape Coast, Ghana
A Small Village
- Isatou S. Bah, Grade 6, The Gambia
Peace means the world to me. It means no more violence or wars. Whilst the Americans are fighting the Afghanistans, there are wars in Northern Ireland. Protestants and Catholics are killing each other. Because of this more people are dying. Take the Twin Towers for example, thousands of people died in this tragedy leaving families shattered. If people could just realize what they are doing and Stop, the world would be a better place.
- James Hood, 11 years, Derry, Northern Ireland