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Using Art as an Expression of Peace

Redentor Alejado is a humble


peacebuilder who started with hope
and is now working to make other
youths’ hopes and dreams possible.
He believes that art can be an
effective tool to express one’s
thoughts, feelings and emotions in
a non-violent way.
While still in college, Alejado
participated in Southern Christian
College (SCC)/ Office of the Vice
President for Research and
Extension (OVPRE) programs such as the Summer Institute for Peace and
Development Motivators (SIPDM) in Midsayap, Cotabato, in the Southern
Philippines. This, he was part of his early formation and gave him a new
perspective in life and how to look at peace and development.
As a student at SCC, he was the Student Coordinator of Linayag Artist (Painting
for Peace), a program-based organization under Center for Media and the
Arts/SCC-OVPRESIPDM. It helped him to understand the differences between
“tribes” or cultural groups in Southern Mindanao and his own biases. Now, as
a faculty member at SCC, he is the adviser of Linayag Artistfor the Painting for
Peace program.
Redentor sees children as the hope of the nation. The media for the message of
peace are music, dance, theater, movies and painting. He continues the work he
started when he was still a student in college and “spreads the message of peace
through the arts.”
Now, he feels more competent in his skills in terms of spearheading the message
of peace through arts. His colleagues also describe him as a passionate and
artistic youth leader He is a facilitator and resource person under programs of
Agenda 1 of SCC: Transformative Education and Peace. The school and their
partners have tapped Redentor to train youth in arts that promote peace and
development.
Redentor has worked with the various programs of SCC to create platforms and
safe spaces. He wants to see youth’s participation in arts, peacebuilding and
other related activities. He sees his role as to bring peace advocacy through the
arts. Art can be the way in which the current generation can take steps towards
peace. He considers art as an instrument to express their thoughts, feelings and
emotions in a non-violent way.
Posters, storybooks, songs, and video documentaries are just some of the ways
he sees that the youth can utilize the arts to promote peace. It is not limited to
this, though, as Redentor recognizes the role that technology and social media
can be used to encourage more millennials to participate in social change. They
have used multimedia to document and show the engagements of SIPDM
alumni, partners, and the communities, and in turn, promote peace through
technology.
Redentor joined MPI’s Annual Peacebuilding Training in 2014, taking Conflict
Resolution Skills: Mediation, Negotiation and Dialogue. It helped mold and gave
him new knowledge from and about other countries. It helped him to understand
different perspectives. The skills he learned are not necessarily used on a day-
to-day basis, but there have been instances where he used what he learned to
resolve conflict in small groups and in the communities.
It turns out that SIPDM is like a “mini MPI,” with youth coming from different
cultures/tribes and learning about peace through short courses. Being with
SIPDM, Redentor sees the happiness of the children when he shares his skills
and knowledge with them. His great pride is that some of those who participated
as children from the partner communities are now artists working for peace.