Living the Fight for Peace values through art, drama and dance

22/04/2019 – Sixteen young people from UP: Unity and Peace, part of Fight for Peace’s Safer Communities Programme in Kingston, Jamaica, recently participated in a visual and performing arts workshop. The event, facilitated by New Wave Jamaica and coordinated by Fight for Peace, consisted of separate art, drama and dance sessions and was a precursor to the painting of a community mural due to take place later this year. The sessions provided an opportunity for young people from the Denham Town community to explore these art forms and for the muralists to meet participants and begin gathering ideas for the mural.

Woven through each session was the theme of the day – peace. During the art session, participants painted themselves in a peaceful place and also created interpretations of common sayings. Although many of those taking part strayed from the the initial prompt, it became clear that the Denham Town Community Centre had become a place of peace for them.

Off the canvas, the participants demonstrated a number of Fight for Peace’s values including Solidarity (working and encouraging each other to continue working), Champion (acknowledging each other’s work and allowing each person the opportunity to share their work) and Embracing (ensuring everyone got a chance and had access to materials). Participants also showed perseverance and tolerance, refusing to give up and working through mistakes.

The drama session saw the addition of teamwork. The facilitator highlighted key principles of communication and conflict resolution such as active listening and respecting each other’s perspective. The young people participating  supported each other in moments of shyness and this energy culminated in the dance session which saw facilitators, coordinators, and participants from a separate session, all getting involved.

“At first I didn’t think I was going to have fun but it was so much fun and I would do it again. I showed my mother my painting and she’s going to hang it up”, said one participant. “I really had fun. I didn’t think I would have as much fun, especially since I always get into it with some of the other people. But it was good and it nice to work together. I didn’t know how well I could paint. I felt good”, added another.

Looking ahead to future community collaborations, Fight for Peace would like to extend a big thank you to New Wave Jamaica and Do Good Jamaica for making this event possible.