A brief history of Poiein kai Prattein: from Kids' Guernica to Guernica Youth
When the Olympic Games were held in Athens 2004, Poiein kai Prattein sought to connect poets to the Olympic Truce.
Olympic Games Athens 2004
As a result, Poiein kai Prattein published ten poetry books under the general theme of Poetry Connection: Poets and the Olympic Truce 2004. The war in Iraq dominated at that time. It left the Youth completely disappointed for they saw a failure to uphold the Olympic Truce.
Peace waves - Torino 2005
Consequently Poiein kai Prattein organized together with PEACE WAVES a youth festival in Torino to draft a new Olympic Truce which was given to the Italian Parliament, and from there passed on to the United Nations. The aim was to ensure the Olympic Truce would be kept at the Winter Olympic Games in 2006.
The youth festival took place in Pracatinat (outside of Torino), February 2005
The aim was to ensure the Olympic Truce would be kept at the Winter Olympic Games in 2006.
Olympic Truce: a challenge for sport... an opportunity for peace
The Olympic Games of Athens 2004 and Turin 2006, the European Youth Olympic Festival of Lignano 2005, the Mediterranean Games of Pescara 2009, the Winter Universiade hosted by Turin in 2007: through those international events the Mediterranean become the centre of the worldwide sport for a period of 5 years. We think that the history give us an important occasion to re-discover sport and the Games directly from the area where they were born
The Olympic Truce, based on the International Laws and on the adhesion of Peoples and States is the right instrument to make it real and to add value to this opportunity.
The Olympic Truce is a concept that dates back to the tradition of Olympism in the ancient Greece. The definition of Olympic Truce in Ancient Greek is “Ekecheiria” (“rising the hands”) and it was used since 800 BC, after the drafting of a peace treaty, sealed by 3 kings (Ifito, Cleostene and Licurgo). The other Greek cities agreed after this “international treaty”: thanks to it came the Olympia’s inviolability and immunity. Moreover, during the period of Olympic Truce, athletes, artists and their families, as normal pilgrims, could travel in total security to share or watch the Olympic Games and then go back home.
An Olympic Truce from below
PeaceWaves propose an Olympic Truce which arises from below, promoted by the associations and organizations operating in the reality of the Host City of the Games through projects at local, national and international level. This Truce will mean not only the interruption of all the conflicts during the period of the Games, but it will be an occasion for peace-building and peace-keeping, sustaining human rights, equal opportunities under an intercultural view.
Furthermore the Olympic Truce is the occasion to make equal the Olympic and Paralympic Games, with the extension of the Olympic Truce at the paralympic period and the unification of the Olympic Family between the able and disable athletes.
The city that hosts the Games must burden on the responsibility not only the mere material organization of the event, but above all the message, the model that the city intends to launch when the eyes of the world are all upon it.
We propose that the host cities will have to undertake specific pledges, sharing them with local authorities, schools, universities, civil society, writing a “social plan”, that is a territorial plan for the Olympic Truce. This pact must contain projects and pledges, checkable by a third party, and must promote the diffusion of the “best practices”.
Along with the technical dossier that the cities have to present in order to host the Games, the before mentioned “social plan” should be handed in too. It should embody the needs of the international community, a qualitative requirement that must correspond to the Olympic Spirit, going beyond the mere organisational efficiency.
The concretization in “glocal” action of the Olympic Truce must be more than ever one of the requirements for a correct organization of the Olympic Games and, at the same time, an opportunity for a human sustainable development.
Sport and the Olympic Games as a peace tool
The characteristic of the Olympics as a worldwide events, which take place biennially (summer and winter Games), the importance that they hold on the media: those are the instruments that could be used for the promotion of the Olympic ideal, in its meaning of sport as a peace tool.
Since the beginning of the Olympic Games of the modern age (1896), the meaning of sport is understood to unite all the people: unfortunately, it has been violated many times.
The Olympic Truce, for PeaceWaves, doesn’t mean only a STOP to all the conflict during the Games, but it represent an opportunity to re-open dialogues that were erroneously considered closed or impossible. It is a metaphor of mediation in conflicts and sustainable development, for a responsible freedom and a new idea of citizenship, respecting Peoples and diversities.
The way we are undertaking it will offer to us the possibility to reflect and to have a dialogue on the themes of freedom, interculturality, the courage to make a choice, justice and forgiveness, the responsibility of our actions.
Furthermore we will have the possibility to promote peace actions as the creative and non-violent resolution of conflicts, guided by the solidarity of men for their brothers and their earth.
Reflections: "Together, we can get there!"
Olympic Truce: the proposal for the UN Resolution starts from the Youth
Less than one year before the XX Olympic Winter Games, there is becoming apparent a growing sensitivity amongst the youth towards U.N. Resolutions to observe the Olympic Truce.
This became evident in the Olympic Truce Resolution Meeting, organised by Peace Waves from the 23rd to 27th February 2005 in Turin. The aim is to end up with a proposal to be handed over to the UN to ensure the Resolution for the Winter Olympic Games in Torino 2006 shall be fulfilled.
The forum, that involved more than 50 young people, has been financed by the Council of Eurpe and was realized in partnership with IRRE Piemonte, FIAT, Poiein kai Prattein and the Presidency of the Italian Republic.
Indeed the youth wishes that the Olympic Truce does not remain only a dream, but that this dream is rooted in reality. A lot depends, they conceded, on ow the city hosting the Games faces the trask of upholding the Olympic Truce while the Games take place.
Dimitra Petanidou, from the Greek delegation organized by Poiein kai Prattein, emphasized the fct that she was hearing two voices, the one saying 'yes', the Games are fantastic, they bring people together, and this in daily life, but when listening to what people from Afghanistan, Palestine or Cyprus report, then she feels it cannot be that she enjoys herself while at the same time others have to fear for their lives.
The participants of the Olympic Truce Reoslution meeting suggested the solution of the dilemma would be to organize their discussion at first in three working groups: Human Rights, Fair Play (including the issue of doping) and Sustainable Development.
Guided by what already experts such as Maria Gabriella Lay from the International Labor Organisation had to say about the need to eliminate Child Labor, or Dario Fabbro about the importance of the Paralympic Games, they merged the three thematic approaches in one resolution. It demands above all a greater equality between the Olympic and Parlympic Games while envisioning a Youth Camp to be held during the Winter Olympic Games in Torino 2006. Such a camp would ensure a monitoring from below of possible violations of Human Rights while the Games were going on. The youth underlines also the importance that athletes sign a written agreement not to be engaged in doping to enhance their performances and if so to agree to an extensive rehabilitation program. At the same time, they favour a public debate with the athletes about Olympic values and the observance of the Olympic Truce.
The resolution is supported by many of the Youths who gathered in Pracatinat to make their voices and opinions be heard on what they feel as being important for the Games to retain their credibility. It includes the demand that the IOC impoes as criteria for the selection of future cities which shall host the Games an action plan demonstrating a stronger link between Olympic and Parlympc Games and an eco efficience to ensure that the Games are a way to reach sustainable development.
Coordinator of Poiein kai Prattein
Feb. 27th 2005
It was at this festival that Poiein kai Prattein came across the Kids' Guernica action: youth from different countries, including Afghanistan, Israel, Palestine, etc. painting a peace mural on a canvas which has the same size as Picasso's Guernica, namely 7,8 x 3,5.
"Guernica" by Pablo Picasso
The idea of letting children paint on a canvas the same size as Picasso's Guernica had originated in Japan in 1995. It was one not solely in memory of Guernica 1937, but also of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. For all these attacks from the air mean the same: the killing of innocent civilians, among them children and youth, and as Picasso expressed it, such a war means a human pain too often drowned first in the noise of the bombs, and then afterwards in silence.