When we talk about war, it goes along with disorder, anarchy, use of weapons and terrible noise. It also involves human loss and the destruction of many infrastructure. It is the opposite of peace, which lies for calmness, the absence of that violence and a harmonious life, without conflict.
However, did you know that war photography can be a testimony for peace? It may sound impossible. However, when we take a close look at the message that it passes through, it's really fascinating how this kind of photography can affect peace concept.
Photography as a testimony for peace?
The aim of photography is to witness some facts, some situations that really happened (if it is an authentic photo). However, it talks about war photography as a testimony for peace. How can it be possible?
A global initiative
On September 16th in 2015, a Roundtable was organized by International Center for Peace and Human Rights to talk about war photography. Actually, many photos of wars had been taken before and then it was really important to discuss about their roles: individually and commonly.
A channel for peace and values
During this Roundtable, discussions were about how photography can convey peace messages and values. Many clichés had been taken showing disorder or deadly explosions that are frightening to see but in fact, it has the power to mold consciences and has become a kind of indicator or a vehicle of peace. Why can it be possible?
Because photos are the memories for the war, then it makes future generations conscious of how much war can affect not only Nations represented by their leaders but also affect more people in these Nations.
An empathy for war victims
Many wars have happened all around the world. Sometimes, they happen at the same moment and stop some days but then they take back their weapons and shoot into innocent people. Photography is a testimony for this atrocity and can lead for admirers to be empathetic towards victims.
A testimony to raise awareness on the importance of peace
There is no way that two or many Nations stop their war initiative unless they find any interests in that. If there is war, it means that there is something or someone that is important for another party that the other one doesn't want to give. These witnesses then that a war is not necessarily useful because discussion, a calm exchange can be an alternative but not by using violence.
A system for collective responsibility
A photographer Don McCullin had taken a photo and named it as the initial hope of "fighting injustice". He wasn't really satisfied and admitted his disillusionment and helplessness because his photographs had failed to change the world for peace.
War is in you but also peace too, as said Prem Rawat. He wants to sensitize people to understand and recognize the good side in everyone and to understand that peace is a personal initiative which can be spread around the world, and so is making conscious choices.
Even if war photography is a testimony for peace, war photojournalism cannot pretend to end conflict, but help to build critical public opinion and promote personal and collective responsibility. As Prem Rawat wants to convince the world that peace should have its place in the world, to fight against war, to be and live in harmony that's why he became an ambassador of peace.