Peace Perspectives is an independent, non-profit international organization committed to the promotion of inclusive and lasting peace.
Our mission is to explore local peace perspectives and re-conceptualize peace based on people’s aspirations and everyday contexts. Our vision is to establish a ‘peace perspectives component’ that will inform policy formulation and implementation.
Why we need a new exploration of the meaning of peace?
International organizations and government agencies pour large-scale human and financial resources to assist societies in building and sustaining peace. Experts and policymakers regularly convene to tackle challenges that come with peacebuilding. Despite these efforts, peace remains elusive in many societies. We believe that this shortcoming is due to the absence of local voices. People who are subjected to conflict and aspire for peace are presented with an understanding of peace that is outside their experience. They are considered mere recipients of peace programmes that are lacking of their inputs. Who defines peace and by what standards? External or non-local actors define peace based on standards that are detached from local contexts. It is time to ask the people we are building peace for what peace means to them.
How are we redefining peace?
Our pilot and principal project explores the definition of peace coming from everyday people. We understand that peace means differently for each one of us. However, those who aspire for peace often do not have a voice in shaping the kind of peace being built for them. For example, if the recurring theme from our field research is related to health, we mobilize small-scale community outreach activities that address health issues. This is the objective of this project: to echo the peace aspirations of those who are at the receiving end of peace projects and discourses.
To achieve this, we are talking with people to record their definitions of peace. We are finding patterns from these definitions to eventually inform international and national peace policies and projects. Our first stop is Nepal. Since January 2017, we have been visiting local communities and far-flung villages in the eastern region of the country. We will continue collecting Nepalese peace perspectives for the next several months. Our aim is to expand this project to other countries, starting in the Asia-Pacific region. We are collecting these definitions of peace one perspective and one society at a time.
This redefinition of peace needs to be shared to a wider audience in order to cultivate a better understanding of peace across different people and societies. A video-recording of those who shared their peace perspectives are available on YouTube and Vimeo and are disseminated in several social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and