The landscape of war, propagated by history books and news media, haunts the social imaginary with images of defense infrastructure, environmental destruction, and mass human casualty. As with more insidious forms of conflict, the practice of visualizing peace exists on the periphery of collective consciousness. Although peace is elusive, it does, like all activity, materialize in space, whether that be in an imagined utopia or your own backyard. So, when you visualize peace, you are also visualizing place. As part of the Visualising Peace Project, we set out to explore how a more explicitly place-based dialogue on peace might empower individuals and communities to embrace the peacebuilding potential of their placemaking practices.Eleni Spiliotes and Margeaux de Seze, Visualising Peace students
Eleni and Margeaux have been members of the Visualising Peace team since Autumn 2022. Their work encompasses questions of peace and place, and how physical location and landscape contribute to political and personal peace.
Eleni has written for our Museum of Peace on “Visualising Peaceful Cities”—that is, cities which are designed to minimise the impact of human waste and expansion and maximise environmental and personal healing—both theoretically and in (imperfect) practice, in places like Saudi Arabia, Arizona, and Minnesota. She translated this research, which she discusses in depth in this presentation, into an Instagram page exploring peace and place entitled “The Invisible Urbicide.” She writes about this project here.
Margeaux expands upon her own research on the subject of peace and place in this presentation. She and Eleni worked together to conduct a focus group on peace and place in St Andrews, surveying residents and students on their conceptions of peace and place within the town and outside of it. They reflect on their findings in the report linked below, and reflect on the project here.