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“School Day for Peace and Non-Violence” – peace workshop for children through art

Report from Sant Cugat del Vallès, Catalunya, Spain

Sant Cugat del Vallès, a town north of Barcelona, has been a member of Mayors for Peace since 2009. Every year since 2014, Sant Cugat has organized a peace project for local public schools called “School Day for Peace and Non-Violence” targeting children from 9 – 10 years old.

The activity is intended as a creative and experiential educational process to work on key aspects of the culture of peace and non-violence through artistic expression.

The initiative begins in November and ends at the end of January (first quarter of every academic year). Each year the project comes with a theme, such as “Step by step – Gandhi and non-violence” (2014), “Live – Hibakushas” (2016), or “Feeling good – Antimilitarism” (2020).

The activity consists of three 90-minute sessions. The first session is facilitated by an educator from local peace institute Universitat Internacional de la Pau, and the other two sessions by an art educator. The theme of the year is introduced at the first session, and during the next two sessions, the students work on the subject through artistic expression, specifically, by creating plastic works.

The works of the students from all the participating schools are compiled into one artistic installation, which is publicly displayed in a public place on the Sunday closest to the 30th January. The art installation is also displayed in a public library during a month after the celebration of the School Day for Peace and Non-Violence.

A total of 1,400 children from 9 – 10 years have participated in the project and 4,000 adults have indirectly involved in the project by visiting art installation. For this year, five schools out of 11 public schools joined this inititave. The number of participating schools changes from year to year, but the organizer hopes to involve all of the schools.

School activity in 2016

Installation in 2016 with the theme of Hibakushas

Installation in 2020 with the theme of antimilitarism

(Photos courtesy of Sant Cugat del Vallès)

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