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4781Lessons for Kwanzaa from Pyramid of Peace

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  • Andrius Kulikauskas
    Dec 17, 2010
      Hi from Chicago. I'm going to have a booth at the Malcolm X celebration
      of Kwanzaa, which is an African American cultural celebration that takes
      place from December 26th to January 1st.

      Perhaps you'd like to add your thoughts and your creativity to my project?

      As an artist, I'm going to depict the lessons I and others learned from
      our stories of the Pyramid of Peace to avert genocide in Kenya in 2008.
      Recently, accusations were made in the International Criminal Court
      against six men suspected of fueling ethnic violence.

      I and others understood at the time that somebody was deliberately
      fostering the violence and we responded to good effect. I will tell my

      As I tell my story, I will focus on *how* I and others learned and grew
      and shared. I will also highlight our values at play, notably, our
      deepest values in life. I will be drawing people's portraits and
      depicting their values and showing how they might imagine themselves in
      our story. I will draw human figures with which I can also describe the
      events so we can discuss them. I will make photos and videos and that
      will help tell the story.

      Kwanzaa celebrates seven basic values of African culture:
      * Umoja (Unity): To strive for and to maintain unity in the family,
      community, nation, and race.
      * Kujichagulia (Self-Determination): To define ourselves, name
      ourselves, create for ourselves, and speak for ourselves.
      * Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility): To build and maintain our
      community together and make our brothers' and sisters' problems our
      problems, and to solve them together.
      * Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics): To build and maintain our own stores,
      shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together.
      * Nia (Purpose): To make our collective vocation the building and
      developing of our community in order to restore our people to their
      traditional greatness.
      * Kuumba (Creativity): To do always as much as we can, in the way we
      can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than
      we inherited it.
      * Imani (Faith): To believe with all our heart in our people, our
      parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of
      our struggle.
      the above is taken from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kwanzaa see
      also: http://www.officialkwanzaawebsite.org

      I'm going to focus on the values that we exhibited and note how
      Kwanzaa's values came into play, rather than the other way around. I've
      collected answers from hundreds of people about their deepest values in
      life, and I'd like for people who come to think about their own and see
      how theirs fit in among others, like stars in the sky, each seeing the
      whole sky from their own vantage point. Kwanzaa is a new celebration
      that I imagine is still finding its way. We lived through a profound
      victory in Africa that inspires reflection on values.

      In particular, I will note how the lessons I learned about engaging the
      violent in the South Side of Chicago were key for our success in Kenya.

      Monday, I will speak with organizer Jessica Holloway about my ideas. We
      already discussed that I might lead video bridges with Pyramid of Peace
      participants in Kenya and around the world. I also think there might be
      broader interest that could lead to support for a Kickstarter project
      that I might organize to document our stories, and ultimately, to apply
      our experience in new challenges.

      What lessons have we learned, large and small, thinking back? What
      stories would we like to tell? Who would we like to hear from? What
      creativity might we contribute to express our stories? I will tell my
      story, and certainly, I hope you might tell yours, likewise, in the
      Public Domain, for all to share creatively.

      I'm glad to hear from us!


      Andrius Kulikauskas
      (773) 306-3807
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