Global Journal of Peace Research and Praxis

CommonVisions: Photography and Conflict Transformation

Charles A. Egerton

Abstract


Abstract

Positive community change came in a place long entrenched in racism through the CommonVisions: Photographic Explorations of Unity in Diversity project. Here an arts-based photography project was used as a means to overcome racism, a major impediment to peace, equity and justice in the world. It was built on the concept of the oneness of humanity, a Bahá’í principle, and was listed in the 2000 Directory of Faith Based Promising Practices for Racial Unity and Justice of the National Conference of Community and Justice (NCCJ) and was a grant project selected for the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation (ZSR) “Race Will Not Divide Us” initiative.  Since verbal dialogues on racism were often derailed and stifled by entrenched prejudices, CommonVisions was designed as a bridge over that verbal quagmire. It applied new strategies using the universal language of photography and a medical model to bring relief and healing from the disease of racism. This article gives peace and conflict studies practitioners a glimpse at the seldom seen evolutionary steps on the winding pathway from concept to praxis.


Keywords


Creating race unity, Photography as a change agent, Bahá’í, Faith-based change project, Conflict transformation through art

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