A lot of museum space has been dedicated to war. Libraries and bookshops contain countless volumes of military history. Most of us can think of multiple war films. There are well-established traditions of war reporting and conflict photography. Peace, on the other hand…
We talk a lot less about peace. We aspire to peace, we idealise it – but we don’t spend as much time exploring and reflecting on it as we do with war. As a result, our habits of visualising peace are often limited to simple cliches and well-worn tropes. To images of doves or UN peace-keepers, to metaphors of friendship or seed-sowing. These images and metaphors have value and power. But they can also limit our understanding of peace, as a complex, multi-faceted phenomenon that is experienced and conceived very differently from one context to another. And if our understanding of ‘peace’ is limited, so is our ability to build or sustain it.
To counter this, we have created a virtual Museum of Peace. Our aim is to bring together lots of different ways of visualising peace, in lots of different contexts: inner peace, local peace, global peace, cyber peace, even peace in space. We are not trying to promote any one particular vision of peace. Rather, we want to explore the diversity of ways in which it can be felt, understood, imagined, narrated, envisioned, embodied, created and sustained. Our goal is to spark more conversation about what peace ‘looks like’ to each of us, where it can be found, how it can be promoted, how it gets represented, and what peace-making and peace-keeping actually involve. We think that talking about different manifestations of peace is an important step in empowering everyone to play a part in fostering it, no matter who they are or where they come from.
We hope you enjoy exploring our museum!
For a quick walk-through, you can watch this video introduction: our museum was featured in New America’s Future Security Forum 2022. We were also invited to write an article about it for E-International Relations, which you can read here: ‘Visualising Peace: a Virtual Museum‘ (published January 2023).
Please let us know what you think by filling in our feedback form at the end of your visit. And if you have any suggestions for other visualisations of peace to include in our museum, please let us know!