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Inventing Peace: A Dialogue on Perception

Inventing Peace: A Dialogue on Perception
Wim Wenders, Mary Zournazi

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Description

Inventing Peace revolves around the question of how we look at the world, but do not see it when there is so much war, injustice, suffering and violence. What are the ethical and moral consequences of looking, but not seeing, and, most of all, what has become of the notion of peace in all this? In the form of a written dialogue, Wim Wenders and Mary Zournazi consider this question as one of the fundamental issues of our times as well as the need to reinvent a visual and moral language for peace. Inspired by various cinematic, philosophical, literary and artistic examples, Wenders and Zournazi reflect on the need for a change of perception in the everyday as well as in the creation of images. In its unique style and method, Inventing Peace demonstrates an approach to peace through sacred, ethical and spiritual means, to provide an alternative to the inhumanity of war and violence. Their book might help to make peace visible and tangible in new and unforeseen ways.

Table of Contents

A Prelude to Looking at Peace
Chapter 1 | Meetings – Conversations on War and Peace
Chapter 2 | Inventing Peace
Chapter 3 | Enduring Images
Chapter 4 | Imagining the Real
Chapter 5 | Which Future of Seeing

Author Info

Wim Wenders is a German film director, photographer, playwright and writer. His internationally renowned films include Alice in the Cities, False Move, Kings of the Road, Paris, Texas, Wings of Desire, Until the End of the World, Faraway, So Close, The End of Violence, Buena Vista Social Club, Palermo Shooting, Land of Plenty and many others. His groundbreaking 3D film PINA was nominated at the Academy Awards for Best Documentary in 2012. Wenders is President of the European Film Academy. He teaches film as a professor at the University of Fine Arts in Hamburg.

Mary Zournazi is an Australian writer and philosopher. She teaches in the sociology program at the University of New South Wales, Sydney. She is the author of several books, including Hope - New Philosophies for Change (Routledge, 2003), and Keywords to War: Reviving Language in an Age of Terror (Scribe, 2007). Keywords to War was made into a radio documentary for ABC Radio National in Australia, and it was nominated for the Australian UN Media Peace Prize in 2008.

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Review

'Reading this book brings a sense of enormous privilege – the privilege of overhearing a conversation between two voices of profound seriousness and imagination. The peace they talk about is neither a matter of problem-solving nor a dream of immobile quiet; it is the remaking of the world by patient looking, educated in compassion and self-awareness. We learn something essential of what art is (not least the art of the film-maker) and of how it is the necessary nourishment for a humane public life.'
Rowan Williams, Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge, and former Archbishop of Canterbury

'Wim Wenders and Mary Zournazi take us on a compelling ride of speculations, memories, and startling insights about human perception, the concept of peace, and the contradictions of life in the early twenty-first century. Not to be missed: Wenders’ first encounter with the films of Yasujiro Ozu, his vivid account of a train journey through Australia, and his heart-breaking experiences in Africa while working on a documentary about raped and battered women. Wenders is one of those exceptional people whose mind is open to everything, and listening to him think out loud is a rare privilege.'
Paul Auster

'The word “peace” evokes vague and negative images. We see violence and war everywhere; we need to learn to see peace. Out of seeing the death of a mother and a brother, and seeing the ruins of 9/11 and women refugees in Africa, Mary Zournazi and Wim Wenders share insights about ways of seeing. The book records the conversations and emails of their exchange as it unfolds, drawing in the thoughts of philosophers and poets and the visions of brother filmmakers Ozu, Kurosawa, Dreyer, Bresson. A very rich and powerful book.'
Alphonso Lingis, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, Pennsylvania State University

'Two expert world watchers on a train of thought. The scholar and the image-maker enlarge PEACE by uncovering it in each other and in the world around them, rather than just willing it to be.'
Bono

'War, yes we know what it looks like. The triumphal song of victory leaving the conquered damned to humiliation and to seeking revenge. Heroism acclaimed, monuments to generals, saviors of the country. War is also the hatred and fear of innocence, children abused, ganged together, women raped, poverty, horrible poverty and hunger. But peace, where is it? Is it but a quiet moment between two wars, a certain harmony between people hiding behind the walls of their own culture and religion? Inventing Peace permits us to see through the cracks of our broken and fragmental humanity and to see – far from the addiction of violence and power – the face of peace in the smiling eyes of a child, in a kiss of forgiveness, in gentle relationships of fidelity, in moments of stillness which open hearts to a meeting with the eternal. This amazing book – through poetry, films, paintings and human wisdom – calls us all to open our hearts to these moments of silence. Moments of communion and unity, a peace hidden in tenderness and in the sacred.'
Jean Vanier, author of Becoming Human and Finding Peace, and founder of L’Arche communities

'Despite the import of its subject matter this is an accessible book and a pleasure to read, reflect and explore… Wenders and Zournazi prove a balanced double act with poetry – prose and visual flair linked with academic rigour and hinterland of sources ranging from Auden to Zabriskie Point.'
John King, Voices Magazine

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd

Paperback
ISBN: 9781780766935
Publication Date: 29 Aug 2013
Number of Pages: 224
Height: 216
Width: 138
Illustrations: 18 colour integrated

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