The approach and the symbols ...
in the context of the project
As already mentioned, with the association « Sentinels of Peace, a stone laid is not thrown », we propose a symbolic gesture, accessible to all. Through a Land Art approach, the raising of stones in balance, (which we call « Sentinels of Peace ») raises awareness of the fragility of many of the balances of life, of our world…
As part of this project, it is the means to mark the world with a « symbol » in order to stimulate and perpetuate the « active memory » of the two atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and to transmit the message of the survivors (Hibakusha).
A first symbol
The heap of stones made available to the public to erect « Peace Sentinels » can be seen « symbolically » as the ruins, consequences of the two atomic bombings, but of course also as the ruins and destruction resulting from all wars.
By « raising » Sentinels of Peace , by using the stones from this pile of « ruins », people are engaging in a symbolic reconstruction of the destroyed buildings, but above all they are making this act part of a process and a commitment to peace.
A second symbol
Precious lives were also and above all destroyed instantly by the bombings. The approach of « raising » or « putting back up » the Sentinels, because a Peace Sentinel is fragile over time, can also be seen symbolically as the will to ensure the memory of the victims and also the « succession » of the « Hibakusha », these direct witnesses of the first and only two atomic bombings in human history.
In the French language, the verb “relever” has various meanings and in particular, “to put back up” something that has fallen but also “to take over”, in this case to ensure the “continuation” of the Hibakusha’s struggle by future generations.
If it is difficult to translate this idea directly into English and probably also into Japanese, this idea is expressed in the “gesture” of raising or putting back up a Sentinel, a desire not to see this commitment for peace disappear, the desire to see this approach for peace always present, always standing and never letting it fall back.
A third symbol
An erected « Sentinel of Peace » can be seen as the opposite of a mushroom cloud.
Actions to be carried out
- The organisation of « Sentinel » operations on the theme of the abolition of nuclear weapons in cities that are members of the AFCDRP is our first objective. Nevertheless, this priority objective does not exclude the possibility of organising actions in towns that are not members of the AFCDRP. Indeed, it seems to us that the organisation of such actions could allow for a local reflection on the membership of the organising municipality. These actions would be aimed primarily at the younger generations, which does not exclude the possibility of actions being carried out with adults. These actions would consist of setting up Sentinels after first explaining the meaning of the approach.
- The association envisages other modes of action in addition to the traditional « Sentinel » actions, in particular the organisation of film screenings on the theme of the bomb, followed by a debate. This would also be an opportunity to present to the public a series of books dealing with this theme on stands inside the cinema.
- Permanent garden projects. We are campaigning for the installation of permanent Peace Gardens, where people could read a presentation of the approach on panels. It would be proposed to them to join, in line with the objectives of Mayors for Peace, the « Sentinels of Peace » project in order to maintain this commitment to Peace on a permanent basis. Those who wish to do so could make a gesture of peace by « raising » or « picking up » a Sentinel which has fallen on the garden.
- Promote the membership of Cities to Mayors for Peace. All of you, readers, ordinary citizens, can join us in this process and get closer to your local councils in order to promote the membership of your cities and thus help the development of Mayors fo Peace.