Employing art to express concern on digital violence

Employing art to express concern on digital violence

DUBAI: The rise of digital violence has become a global concern, believes the non-profit organization behind a new wooden version of a John Lennon-inspired peace sculpture The Knotted Gun, revealed recently at the Sweden Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai.

“It means a lot for us [to be at Expo 2020 Dubai],” said Claes Kalborg, Partner at the Non-Violence Project Foundation, speaking after the sculpture’s reveal, which was attended by Her Excellency Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, and Her Excellency Liselott Andersson, Ambassador of Sweden to the United Arab Emirates.

Kalborg said, “We are [already] outside the UN headquarters and in a few other places around the world. But this, for us, is kind of a new start with the wooden gun. We have initiated our digital programmes to reach out even broader than we have [until] today – and together with Original Voice Trust, we plan to broaden the footprint; to work [on] non-violence, but also [on] sustainability questions and diversity, etc. So we share a lot of values.”

While every country has its own violence challenges, Kalborg said, digital violence represents “a global challenge”, especially within gaming communities and on social media platforms: “I think that’s where we need to emphasise our efforts. And again, being digital, we have a totally different reach to deal with these matters.”

The Knotted Gun officially called Non-Violence, was originally created by Swedish artist Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd as a memorial tribute to his friend John Lennon, who was shot dead outside his New York home in 1980. Now sitting outside the UN headquarters in New York, it is often the first thing visitors see when they enter the compound – an iconic symbol of the UN’s commitment to world peace.

The Non-Violence Project Foundation, whose symbol is The Knotted Gun, worked with Sweden-based Original Voice Trust and the Sweden Pavilion to create the structure, which is made from Swedish wood. It is the first time the sculpture has been replicated using this material, reflecting the Sweden Pavilion’s sustainability-based theme, ‘The Forest.’

The reveal came as the UN marked its Honour Day at Expo 2020, commemorating the 76th anniversary of the UN.

HE Andersson said, “Celebrating the UN day at the Swedish Pavilion is a great honour, but also so self-evident given the huge Swedish multilateral engagement and our strong support for the UN. Having the Knotted Gun in wood exhibited at our pavilion symbolises this close partnership. But The Knotted Gun is foremost a symbol of peace and non-violence. I hope it will inspire and remind visitors of the importance of people and countries working together to achieve this.”

Source: Expo 2020 website

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