Peace Mala Youth Awards

Positive News – September 9, 2008

Winners of the third annual Peace Mala International Youth Awards have been announced ahead of the mid September ceremony, at the Temple of Peace in the centre of Cardiff, Wales.

In the senior category, Coleg Sir Gar in Carmarthenshire, were awarded for their outstanding A-Level art projects, which explored personal and universal themes of inclusion, perception and growth.

Thirty-seven students from St John Lloyd Catholic Comprehensive School, Llanelli, went to Rome, Florence and Assisi on a ten day Peace Mala Pilgrimage for World Peace. The journey, which combined art, prayers for peace and self discovery, also enabled them to meet with world faith leaders, including the Dalai Lama. The students’ pilgrimage, which was recorded and then made into a CD, earned them the second Peace Mala Senior Award.

Crynallt School in Cimla, Neath, were given the Junior Peace Mala Award for the whole school’s exuberant, creative display. The children’s individual entries and observations reflected a range of ability and age. It showed how the idea of Peace Mala can generate enthusiasm and reach out to everyone.

Woodheys School, in Cheshire, received The Junior Peace Mala Award for their green project – see the Positive News article here.

Peace Mala is fully endorsed by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet and Nobel Peace Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Based in Swansea, the charity was set up by teacher Pam Evans to combat religious intolerance in the wake of September 11th. The Peace Mala is a bracelet with 14 rainbow coloured beads, representing all major faiths and their messages of peace. A Peace Mala page has been set up on the social networking website Bebo. Already hundreds of young people have signed up. Word about Peace Mala is getting around.

Here young people involved explain the inspiration behind their entries:

Peace Mala Entry: Danni Clifton, Carmarthenshire College
“I have produced a canvas representing what ‘Tolerance’ means to me by showing different aspects of the world in one piece.

“Firstly, I have created two separate hands that are visually coming down from the sky that contains a personal response and somewhat a message that is scattered amongst the canvas itself and entwined in the world and other aspects of imagery.

“The two hands represent the contrast and the combination of race, one hand is white and the other is Black; therefore showing the coming together of races. And by the fact that they both grasp onto the world itself, this shows the unity between race, peace and life’s differences. The world has been created to look as if it has come out innocently due to the obvious view of it being how the world is portrayed in space. I have used a simple and clearly obvious view of the world to create a straight forward picture of what life is overall- despite the tragedies and the destruction in life when the world is viewed as how I have portrayed it in my image; it is seen as innocent and overall we view it as an object, without boundaries of complication.

“The words on the canvas are scattered; written in different fonts and styles of writing and parted away from each other so that they become harder to read as one piece; therefore when people do read it they have to make an effort to put it all together.

“The earthly flowers and vines that wrap around the world and contrast with the darkened side of the background shows the natural aspects of life and how they should be respected more and not taken advantage of through war, defeat and destruction amongst people of the world.

“I have originally put this piece on top of a black background filled with stars, moons and other planets showing a surrealist view of life and of the universe; However, for this piece I have put only half of this into my piece and added shades of purple, lilacs, pinks and whites in the centre fading out into the world and into the universe to represent two sides of life.”

Laura Jones
Laura Jones

Peace Mala Entry: Laura Jones, Carmarthenshire College
Laura explained that the inspiration for her design comes from the actual Peace Mala bracelet itself and represents interlocking circles of inclusion and the vision of the Peace Mala at a cosmic level using stars and light.

“In my piece I tried to represent visually, the aims and values of the Peace Mala, taking my inspiration from the design of the bracelet. I was also inspired by the general ethos of inclusion and tried to show this by using interlocking circles as a symbol of how we are all interconnected. It also represents the bracelet and the round beads individually as well as the circle that the entire bracelet makes.

“Throughout the piece I also wanted to use the rainbow colours and include the entire spectrum of colour, again as a representation of the Peace Mala’s values and in another sense as an interpretation of the bracelet.

“I also used the idea of stars and the use of light, to give a wider range to the piece and as a way of showing how large the scale of Peace Mala’s vision is.”

Laura's artwork
Laura’s artwork

Pam was so impressed with Laura’s entry that she asked permission for its use in a new design for the opening page of the official Peace Mala website whenever funds become available.

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