On the 13th of December 2021, the Department of Political Affairs, Peace, and Security of the African Union began a high-level seminar, in which more than forty African artists from five sub-regions were invited to discuss strategies for raising public awareness for peaceful conflict resolution under the ‘Silencing the Guns’ initiative through their artistic works. Africa is plagued by ongoing violence and conflict, endangering the safety of the nation and the people within it. Peace and conflict resolution are essential in reaching stability within the continent. Through the Silencing the Guns initiative, the African Union aims to end all violence and conflicts in Africa. African artists are called upon to pass on this message to the public through their artistic work.
African Artists Join the ‘Silencing the Guns’ Initiative
The seminar spanned over three days, facilitating valuable discussions amongst African artists on peace and conflict resolution initiatives in the context of art, culture, and heritage. Participants made presentations and shared ideas on how to peacefully resolve conflict. There were discussions on how art could act as a means of raising awareness of the conflict in Africa and consequently how it could push for peace and stability within the continent.
All participants have officially joined the ‘Silencing the Guns’ initiative, promising to collaborate with the African Union in raising awareness for conflict prevention and resolution through their art. Participants of the conference also brainstormed various artistic endeavors in the different artistic mediums that they specialize in, such as music, painting, poetry, storytelling, and fashion, which they could undertake in their communities and respective regions. Moreover, the songwriters of the group started composing a song specifically written for the ‘Silencing the Guns’ initiative which is to be released in the near future.
The African Union awarded certificates to all participants of the conference, expressing its support for artists who demonstrated a strong interest in spreading the message of ‘Silence through Guns’ in their future art pieces. By bringing African artists together in the discussion of a common goal, the conference succeeded in creating a sense of solidarity between the participants, fostering a strong sense of empowerment and determination to raise awareness for the significant cause.