Image - Adolescents painting a mural about culture of peace in Jinotega.
The Art and Peace Project promotes a culture of peace among adolescents and their families by learning painting skills. The Foundation for the Support of Children's Art (FUNARTE) with support from the Swiss Cooperation, combines art and culture in a project that aims to contribute to social cohesion in communities in the municipalities of Estelí, La Trinidad and Jinotega, in northern Nicaragua.
150 adolescents are being trained in topics such as assertive communication, culture of peace, leadership and mural painting. They were selected after daily house-to-house visits. The "chavalos", as FUNARTE´s team calls them, carry out weekly activities while observing biosecurity measures.
How does a mural contribute to the culture of peace?
A mural is a painting on a wall that has the potential to convey a message. In Jinotega, adolescents have included in their mural images related to the values of peace, reflection, respect and cultural diversity. However, the mural is only the result of the harmony and balance of the different opinions of adolescents, in addition to allowing them to appropriate public spaces to express themselves. On the other hand, one of the potentials of the mural is to contribute to the cultural identity of each municipality, using characteristic elements such as dance and music. This is the potential of culture: to bring together a variety of personalities and to exchange and complement opinions.
What has changed in the adolescents in this first year of the project?
Adolescents and youth are in favor of dialogue and respect. They have also acquired skills to promote relationships based on a culture of peace and contribute to overcoming polarization in the Nicaraguan society. The changes may not be immediately visible, but with this project, young people are being trained to question violence with members of their families, schools and neighborhoods. Finally, the murals are designed to last for a long time in the public space. We hope that the messages of the adolescents will last beyond the life of the project and thus contribute to the construction of a society where people can live in peace despite their differences.
Thank you for the inputs on the project to Danilo González, responsible for Culture at the SDC in Nicaragua.
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