I recently came across a TED talk where Edi Rama the Prime Minister of Albania discussed how something as simple as paint brought hope to Albanians that felt left behind in modernization. By painting buildings with vibrant and eliminating colors, and by fixing streets and creating a new constructed area, the people of Albania began to feel secured, proud, and visible as a European nation.
If you have a chance, I highly recommend checking out this video that can help you look at things from a more creative perspective: http://www.ted.com/talks/edi_rama_take_back_your_city_with_paint
As an artist in the Global Affairs field, I felt out of place when my colleagues would discuss policies and recommendations on issues such as peacebuilding, girl’s empowerment, environmental crisis, terrorism, etc. Coming from such a creative past, I feared that this new conservative way of thinking was going to take away my artistic optimism. It was not until recently when one of my professors linked art and peacebuilding into one of the class sessions that I began to second-guess the role of art in Global Affairs. By making grad students feel artistic and innocent once again, my professor made me realize the power that art has in any field and in every topic.
Art might not be the solution to every problem, but it is a great way to start thinking differently. By promoting more art classes in a school curriculum we can begin teaching kids the importance of solving issues in a peaceful manner that involves creativity. The Freedom Theatre is a great example on how a society is using resistance through art. This community-based theatre is located in Jenin Refugee Camp, occupied Palestine, and is demonstrating how art plays a crucial role in shaping a society surrounded by conflict.
I want you all to think, when was the last time you colored, painted, played an instrument, acted or held a type of medium that would help you create something? Do not let age erase the artist that is within all of us.
Art was made for a reason, so let us put it to use by letting it solve what words cannot fix.
Guest article by Nathalia Santana.