What does art have to do with peacebuilding? That is a good question and a question that leads me on a journey. The journey first began when I read John Paul Lederach’s, The Moral Imagination a year ago and was lit up during my most recent class, Arts and Media-Based Peacebuilding at the Summer Peacebuilding Institute . Lederach writes that by “making room for and building the creative act” the “unexpected” happens, and it is within the unexpected moment in which transformation has the potential to take place. That space is serendipity. For me, when I am fearful I try to control rather than let serendipity unfold. A mentor once told me, “trust the process, Danielle, just trust the process,” and when I did (and do), well, it was pretty cool. (A little secret… my mentor said this to me more than once.)
When I take the risk and trust the process, that’s when the unexpected moments of creativity occur. The new pathways begin to show themselves through the fog. Those pathways can be frightening. They are new and different. They are mysterious. Sometimes it is easier to stay in the same place, but by taking the risk we invite the potential for change.
“Reconciliation gets complicated and compounded when we try to address it purely on the intellectual level. Somewhere along the way we came to think of hurt as lodged in the cognitive memory. Hurt and brokenness are primarily found in the emotional memory. The reason I like the arts–music, drama, dance, whatever the forms–is precisely because it has the capacity to build a bridge between the heart and the mind”(Herm Weaver as quoted in John Paul Lederach’s, The Moral Imagination)
“Cultivating moments of Serendipity”