THE BLOG
23/09/2013 09:32 BST | Updated 20/11/2013 05:12 GMT

Creating Films For Peace

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

interpretation.

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.

2013-09-20-AthiPatraRugaStill500pixels.jpg

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

widely heard.

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

difference.

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

peace.

Mark Coetzee

Curator

films4peace

films4peace launches globally on 21st September. See www.films4peace.com. All the contributing films can now be viewed at https://vimeo.com/channels/films4peace2013/