KHOJ is collaboratively organizing a four-day workshop on theme of IMAGINE PEACE! A Visual Encyclopedia by Design2context, (Institute for Design Research at the Zurich University of the Arts) which works internationally to foster the idea of a new iconography of peace or non-conflict. The workshop organized by KHOJ and Design2context will be the fifth in a series of workshops that will have taken place by January 2009 in four different regions around the globe, where conflict and violence may vitally delineate the sociopolitical landscape – El Salvador, Brazil, Dalian, Colombia and most probably Ethiopia and Rwanda.The workshops will result in a major publication titled, 'Imagine Peace': a visual encyclopedia of peace' with texts and image contributions from the artists as well as well known scientists, politicians, philosophers, politologists, etc.At KHOJ, one of our primary concerns is to encourage dialogue, to foster interactions and exchange through a sharing of ideas and concerns. In the contemporary era of global conflict, a workshop of this nature is imperative, forcing us to think about the nature of peace and its relationship to conflict. We believe IMAGINE PEACE! has tremendous potential to have an impact on all the participants: the participants from India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka include artists, designers, writes, academicians, photographers and film-makers, many of whom are from regions that are in the throes of situations of conflict- civil and military.The goal of the workshop is to search for local representations (imageries, signs, cultural elements, drawings) of peace, question or analyze these representations and create new visualizations according to the local and individual perspectives. Through reflections and discussions on the relationship between the current aesthetics of peace, fiction, commons and utopia (in India or neighboring countries), we hope to address questions about the creation of a new aesthetics through which local situations of conflict and peace can be represented and addressed. Can the search of an aesthetics of peace shed light on the meaning, structures and functions of the fictions surrounding its concept? Under what circumstances is peace represented, in a negative, positive or utopian perspective?
The workshop is being held from the 16th-19th April 2009. It will be facilitated by Professor Clemens Bellut, co-director of design2context, the institute for design research at the University of Zurich.
The workshop venues are the KHOJ studios and the India International Centre, where an essential module of ‘Imagine Peace’ will be films curated especially for the workshop by Gargi Sen, documentary film maker (www.magiclanternfoundation.org) as part of Persistence-Resistance 2009, a South Asian film festival that is being organized at the India International Centre around the themes of peace/ conflict.