Is war inevitable? I don't believe so.
If every government were to cut its military and defence budgets by half and contribute that half to peaceful works, to improving living conditions and to promoting cultural exchange and understanding, that must make a positive change over time.
If you think that this is too idealistic and that we can't make a difference, read Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin's Three Cups of Tea. One peace-loving man achieved what successive govenments have failed to do.
The text on the back cover of my copy of Three Cups of Tea reads:
"Here (in Pakistan and Afghanistan), we drink three cups of tea to do business; the first you are a stranger, the second you become a friend, and the third, you join our family, and for our family we are prepared to do anything - even die." Haji Ali, Korphe Village Chief, Karakoram Mountains, Pakistan.
In 1993 a mountaineer named Greg Mortenson drifted into an impoverished Pakistan village in the Korakoram mountains after a failed attempt to climb K2. Moved by the inhabitants' kindness, he promised to return and build a school. Three Cups of Tea is the story of that promise and its extraordinary outcome. Over the next decade Mortenson built not just one but fifty-five schools - especially for girls - in the forbidding terrain that gave birth to the Taliban. His story is at once a riveting adventure and a testament to the power of the humanitarian spirit."
“Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.” - Martin Luther King Jr.
Legato has almost finished in Italy for 2010. The last group of 30 (New Zealand) visitors is booked to visit the gallery on 28 September. The following day I will close the exhibition and make changes in the gallery. I will miss the Legato works, which I wont see again until they are hung for the New Zealand version of Legato in February 2011. Some works have sold, going to New Zealand and Italian owners. Some are already back in New Zealand, and others are about to be on their way.
October will see in the huge task of getting the remaining works packed, transported to Rome, then re-packed, signed off and sealed in front of customs so that they can be shipped back to New Zealand. While this is happening, Canadian and selected New Zealand artists are already planning their works for the 2011 Legato (Italy).
I am very pleased that the New Zealand version of Legato in February will also include works that didn't travel to Italy for 2010. Works by Lisa Allen, Glenda Kane and Dave Roy will bring different dimensions to the exhibition in the New Zealand venue. Lisa and Glenda are among the artists/writers who have accepted an invitation to exhibit in Cassino in May 2011.