Can art save the world and pave the way for peace?
Looking far into the history of man, it is apparent that the epochs of each civilization are marked by one common trait: a great flourishing of the arts.
In as many varied and beautiful forms as the mind can imagine, those who came before us elevated themselves and their people through bountiful creative expression. At last, existence meant so much more than survival! From Egypt's pyramids and wall paintings to Greece's incredible epics, from India's stirring songs to Japan's incomparable theatre, we find achievements that have inspired for centuries. Between renaissance and revolution, the tides of social unrest and stability produced the paintings, songs, operas, and poems we have come to view as time's greatest treasures.
Botticelli's universally-renowned Birth of Venus.
The tradition continues into this day. Across the globe, visual artists, dancers, composers, and authors crystallize the present, preserving it so that future generations may learn of our struggles and triumphs. Artists are mankind's most effective historians, storytellers, and communicators. Through their work, life takes shape and develops meaning that is instantly grasped - their gift is tremendous, capable of giving more and reaching further than can be fathomed.
For the past year, my life and my work have been dedicated to the belief that genuine positive change can manifest through art. I have observed the transcendent power of creativity; I have witnessed the ways it touches people from all walks of life. Art is the one true universal language, understood instantly by the mind and the heart. My Love & Peace Campaign focuses on unifying the nations of the world through the common experience of interaction with public art, and as I have brought my monumental flower sculptures to locations across the globe, the resonant power of beauty to create harmony has left me astounded.
A sample of visitor-contributed 'photo stories' from Ana Tzarev's Love & Peace web site.
But this goal of establishing harmony through art cannot be achieved in isolation. For progress to be won, artists who work for change must come to be recognized and supported by the leaders of the world. I implore Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and the members of the UN to consider instating an International Day of Arts, so that we may celebrate the diversity of genius possessed in each nation of our shared world - a world that yearns to be healed.
Across the vast divide of differences that set all people apart, there exists within artistic expression the thread that can bind us together. Let art and its creators receive the honour they deserve and engender the change we need, so that the beauty that defines every unique culture also will become the force that fosters peace among them.