I have been part of this research project since it started in January 2022, and the magnitude of my learning journey is difficult to articulate. Initially, I was interested in how peace is visualised and narrated in realms of cyber- and outer space. Today, I focus on inner peace. Echoing many of my peers’ views, I first understood peace as something to be dealt with in ‘political’ spaces by ‘powerful’ people. While it is crucial to investigate how institutions and political fora visualise, narrate, and build peace, I have become more interested in the personal aspects of what peace is. An important (and persistent) research question of mine is: how does inner and geopolitical peace connect to one another? I am still seeking meaningful ways to engage with this question, but currently, I focus on this connection from the perspective of peace education. The ways in which children are taught about peace is essential for understanding how peace is implemented in society. Therefore, I hope to contribute with educational resources to teach us all about peace as a concept that originates within and outside our own minds.Otilia Meden, Visualising Peace student
Though I continue to learn with and alongside the research team, a key takeaway is that peace is contextual, multifaceted, and complex, hinting that our research project ranges widely across – and beyond – academic disciplines. Ultimately, this research project evolves in dialogue with class-room conversations, and I am excited about what my own as well as my peers’ future outputs will reveal about the visualisation of peace.
Otilia is an undergraduate student in the School of International Relations at the university and has been a member of the Visualising Peace team since Spring 2022.
Otilia’s work this semester has been to create a teaching resource for classroom use on inner peace and mindfulness. This resource includes a full lesson plan for teachers, reflective questions for both students and teachers, and methods for teachers to follow up with the project on their experiences utilising the resource.
Otilia has written multiple entries to our Museum of Peace on inner peace and mindfulness. She also hosted episodes of the Visualising War and Peace podcast on love and care in conflict studies, on peace and conflict in yogic philosophy and on the work of the WAVE trauma centre in Northern Ireland. She has discussed some of her research on care and inner peace in this presentation.
As a Laidlaw Scholar at the University of St Andrews, Otilia spent six weeks in July and August 2023 conducting some comparative research into young people’s experiences of peace education in Argentina, Denmark and the UK, with a particular focus on the relationship between inner and outer peace. You can read her preliminary findings in this blog.