Each time the subject of peace is raised a cynical question follows: is it
even possible? Of course this presupposes one single definition of peace -- some
homogenous state of perfection.
Humanity has always imagined things before their reality and it is to
artists that we look to create this imaginative space of possibilities
long before we see these ideas let alone benefit from their fruition.
This is the power of the image, to challenge us, to make us take ethical
stock of our actions to our fellow humans and the environment, but art
also takes us beyond a simple critique. It not only poses questions of
personal responsibilities in striving towards an environment free of
conflict and violence, difficult questions surrounding justice, fairness
and abuses of power, it also offers open-ended possibilities fresh for our
By collaborating with artists we can engage with an honest and innovative
discussion, if not to resolve, then at least to understand the challenges
of living in the 21st Century.
films4peace began three years ago as part of PUMA's corporate citizenship
mission to create a safer, more peaceful, more creative world and the belief
that film can be a powerful medium for change. PUMA
considered how it could be most effective in this contribution and
established films4peace -- a gift to the world, to be freely used by all.
A still from Athi-Patra Ruga's contribution to films4peace for 2013.
I have had the honour to curate all three years of this project selecting
the artists and creating the context for their work.
It is rare that a corporate respects the role and power of art so much so
that they not only create freedom of what is said and how it is said but
then also create a global platform for the voices of these artists to be
In my selection process I considered thousands of artists. Not wanting to
interfere at all in the content of what the artist wanted to say regarding
peace, I had to work on a sense of trust. Trust in the quality and
character of past work, trust in the artist's desire to engage with this
subject, and trust in the creative process itself.
Each year hundreds of organizations across the world screen the films.
From grand museums to small community groups, from national television
channels to on monitors in the African bush. This year more venues than
ever have committed to create public screening of films4peace.
With the technology now available we have seen many individuals begin to
make their own films for peace. I hope that more and more people will use
their creative talents in a positive way and for peace.
The hope is that these films will have a life far beyond peace day and
will continue to be used as tools for peace. As educational tools, as
artworks to exhibit, as a record of humanities attempts for a better world
and as a legacy that we believe we each matter and each of us can make a
The artists have fulfilled their role. It is now up to us to create the
surprise: To surprise ourselves of humanities capability for love and