The Philippines has the distinct honor to host the global launch of the International Peace Movement: Not by Force but by Art under the patronage of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) patronage from May 20 to 23.
The launch coincides with the twin observance of Unesco World Day for Cultural and Biological Diversity for Dialogue and Development on May 21 to 22, and the Unesco International Arts Education Week from May 20 to 26.
“Not by Force but by Art” consists of twinned events, Art Speak For Peace Festival, involving performers from claimant countries of the conflicted West Philippine/China Sea and the divided Korean Peninsula on May 20. In addition, there will also be a collaborative faith based cross-cultural liturgy for peace linked to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with a focus on the care of the oceans scheduled on May 22 at the Tanghalan Yaman Lahi, Emilio Aguinaldo College in Manila.
The harvest of performances is complemented with an Interdisciplinary, Interfaith, and Inclusive Leaders Forum on May 21 and 22. The guests will be welcomed by Senate President Aquilino ‘Koko’ Pimentel, Jr. and by the Senate Spouses Foundation headed by Lourdes Pimentel and will be endorsed by several senate committees led by Senator Loren Legarda, Chair of the Committee on Foreign Relations and Senator Cynthia Villar of the Committee on Environment and Agriculture.
Cecile Guidote-Alvarez, director of Earthsavers UNESCO- Artist for Peace, conceptualized the festival-forum to “showcase the dynamic possibilities of art mediation and cultural understanding for mitigating armed conflict and promoting reconciliation, unification and rehabilitation.
“Because art serves as the catalyst for interaction and people to people strategy that can bond and link the nation together,” Guidote-Alvarez noted.
Guidote-Alvarez, an outstanding Asian Magsaysay laureate for Public Service, as Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) founder, added, “Arts have the inherent therapeutic character to help heal trauma of war victims and refugees of ecological disasters.”
A radio soap opera on peace and the sustainable development goals (SDGs), started its world premiere broadcast and webcast at DZRH as a prelude to the event. A Marawi Art Exhibit: A Salute to Soldiers by Nemi Miranda will also be on display at the festival-forum.
The Shanghai Theatre Academy (China), Le Ngoc Troupe (Vietnam), Unesco Artist for Peace Sumi Jo (Korea), and Mita Noriaki, among others, will provide a panorama of cultural diversity.
Finally, Philippine performances will feature Earthsavers Unesco Artist for Peace twinned with PhilStagers with participation of Shirley Halili Dance Company, he Bottle Orchestra of Cardona, St. Dominic Savio Cultural Group, the Philippine National School for the Blind and Ballet Manila.