By Courtesy of Cinema for Peace Foundation
RIO DE JANEIRO (IDN-INPS) – The Olympics should have been a time of peace, but the world was at war. There were 19 wars and 16 war-like conflicts in the world during the Olympic Games. Overall, there are 409 conflicts, of which 223 are violent.
To shine a light on conflicts and to endorse the peaceful ideals of Olympic Games the initiative Sports for Peace, who hosted at the London Olympics Muhammad Ali’s farewell, presented the ‘Olympic Ideal of Peace’ light installation in the Santa Marta Favela in Rio.
The projections in the favelas served as a reminder of the Olympic ideals which were not brought to life in Rio de Janeiro, especially the Olympic ideal of laying down all arms: all over the world the killings went on, especially in Syria.
On the occasion of passing on the torch to Pyeongchang (South Korea) for the next Winter Olympics and to Tokyo for the next Summer Olympics Sports for Peace will do a final light installation in Rio de Janeiro, asking the host countries to make fairness, solidarity and peace and important element of their games and live up to the original meaning of the Olympic ideals -and to work closely with the United Nations to lay down all arms during the Olympic Games.
This appeal will also be presented on Time Square in New York as a start of a peace advocacy campaign. Previous campaigns such as `Peace One Day` have proven that success is possible.
The projections drew attention beside the failure of laying down arms to the lack of solidarity in making thousands of people loose their Favela homes, a lack of fairness in a growing doping epidemic, but also highlighted the positive examples of the power of sports by the refugee team, examples of friendship between athletes whose countries were at war, and Nelson Mandelas and Muhammad Ali’s vision how to use sports for the greater good.
In order to realize the light installation the 15.000 inhabitants of the Favela Santa Marta were asked to be involved by shutting down their lights. The neighborhood was immediately on board and was honored to host the projection, as most of the times, the Favelas in Rio are denied the right to be in the central attention of cultural projects.
The Cinema for Peace hosted additionally a screening series in the Favelas and the Olympic village.
“The importance of bringing such projects to a place who lacks of everything is huge. The combination of education and sports is a perfect tool to achieve socialization. I come from a social project, I am a result of people who believed in the power of sports. Thank you Cinema for Peace for touching our kids tonight!“ – Sarah Menezes, Olympic gold medal winner
“The Olympic Games brought more tourist interested in the favelas, what was the only positive change we felt in our community until you came and brought this beautiful projections and screenings to us.” – Robes Pierre, resident of Santa Marta
“The Santa Marta Community is delighted to host the Peace projection. You brought us important information about the Games and its legacy to the city.” – José Mário, President of the Santa Marta residents
“As a police commander of the Santa Marta Favela and a social activist I think it’s crucial to offer our community the access to more information about the games. I hope that the messages about the Olympic Spirit will stimulate our kids to overcome their difficulties.” – Police Commander Tatiane Lim
Sports for Peace partner Cinema for Peace hosted an educational screening series in Rio’s favelas during the Olympic games, working with several organizations including Instituto Reação, a non-profit foundation run by ex-judo-champion Flavio Canto, and where Olympic 2016 gold medal winner Rafaela Silva trains. These screenings aim to empower those living in difficult circumstances, particularly the younger generation. [IDN-INPS – 21 August 2016]
Image credit: Cinema for Peace Foundation.
IDN is flagship of the International Press Syndicate.