ACTIVE NONVIOLENCE as a force for world transformation
In today’s world there are many visions in circulation that are interested in maintaining the usefulness of violence to resolve “insurmountable” conflicts and to maintain the established “order”. Behind all kinds of arguments, including those of a supposed “natural order”, lies the personal position of supremacy and imposition of its defenders over others.
It seems that, as Silo defined in his Dictionary of New Humanism, “Violence is the simplest, most frequent and effective way to hold on to power and supremacy, to impose one’s will on others, to usurp the power, property and even the lives of others“, and not only through the physical violence we recognise in wars, murder, torture or ill-treatment. This has been the most obvious form of violence historically. But today, other forms of violence such as economic violence (speculation, usury, appropriation and theft of resources, insensitive competition, tyranny of money…), accompanied by racial, sexual, religious, psychological and moral violence, “normalise” cruelty and discriminatory treatment.
In the face of the suffering and pain caused by violence, all kinds of violent responses have been interposed that similarly lock us into the quest for imposition and domination of some over others. A violent approach cannot end violence.
Advancement of Active Nonviolence
But something is changing in human beings. Some paradigms that seemed to accompany us inevitably are beginning to be questioned. Also with regard to violence and how to deal with it. On a social level, pacifism has shown the deep desires for peace that are lodged in the hearts of so many good people, but active nonviolence is advancing by showing itself as a methodology of coherence between what is defended, what is thought and felt as good for oneself and for others, and what is done.
In some places and moments, not only is the strategic effectiveness of non-violent action in the face of intolerance being proven, but also, catapulted by the sense of contact with the need in oneself and in others, the barriers of individualism and of the sides that used to separate people are being shaken, and it is becoming possible to experience a global awareness of a “we”, that experience impossible to perceive for those who from their individual experience believe that only they have room for it.
In some places and times, not only is the strategic effectiveness of non-violent action in the face of intolerance being proven, but also, catapulted by the sense of contact with the need in oneself and in others, the barriers of individualism and of the sides that used to separate people are being shaken, and it is becoming possible to experience a global awareness of a “we”, that experience impossible to perceive for those who from their individual experience believe that only they have room for it.
Nonviolence is not passivity, nor is it resignation. Nonviolence repudiates and denounces any form of violence, makes its masks evident and rebels against it through disobedience, objection, non-collaboration, emptiness, strike, the demonstration effect. But it also delves deeper to understand the roots from which violence arises in all of us and coherently seeks to give a new, transforming and overcoming response to it.
Nonviolence is not a simple idea, or a mere strategy of struggle to achieve external results; nonviolence starts from a moving experience of recognising something great in oneself and in others to care for, capable of connecting the best and deepest purposes in oneself with our action in the world.
We want to spread the culture of non-violence by highlighting the achievements of peoples in this direction. That is why we have decided to create this Festival, not as a simple loudspeaker to denounce the different forms of violence, but to make known, as a demonstration effect, that other type of non-violent transforming responses that are already taking place in many places.
We invite all creative consciences to show in images this new world without war and without violence that is emerging from the horizontality of the “we” in many people. This “we” that excludes no one and that recognises that nothing can be above the human being and that no human being can be below another.