Rabbi Amy Eilberg was the first woman to be ordained by the Conservative Movement of Judaism. She spent the early part of her rabbinate in end of life care and grief counseling but now her focus is on peace and reconciliation work. Amy spends much of her time on interfaith dialogue and is energized by those conversations that hold the possibility of conflict but also hold out the promise of new understanding, and of peace. For her, peace does not come from avoiding the difficult issues, but by facing them, and having honest, respectful dialogue about our differences.
Eric Gibson is a Buddhist teacher. He travels the globe teaching in different countries and different cultures. He talks about how Buddhist teachings have helped him understand that we are all connected. In his interview, he talks about an old proverb that has become one of my favorite quotes... “If you think about your own happiness, then you always have problems, but if you think about the happiness of others, there is always interesting work to do."
Hudlin Wagner says that her perceptions of peace are a result of her tri-cultural background…her black, Native American and West Indian heritage. She defines peace, initially as a physical feeling…a lightness of being, which includes a spiritual connection with the world and its order. As young girl, Hudlin’s parents decided that she would integrate the local Catholic school, and none of the children would sit near her because they were afraid that if she touched them, they would turn black. When she asked her parents to send her to a different school, they told her, “This is your journey to be introduced to each individual human being…so you don’t recreate the stereotypes of every race.”
We would like to introduce the IGVP community to Krishna Gurung, a visual peacemaker who currently works in Nepal, promoting community development through ecological practices. Read about how personal tragedy inspired Krishna to empower and equip communities for holistic environmental engagement in a country where esteem for the environment is low.
Mark Williams is downstream director for Royal Dutch Shell, which means he oversees refining, marketing, trading, chemicals, logistics - every step involved in getting crude oil to the consumer. Shell provides about 10 percent of the world’s fuel supply. Mark recognizes the environmental challenges we face with our dependence on fossil fuels but defends energy production as fundamental to prosperity and peace in the world.
I've spent most of the past two years in Nepal. My initial reasons for coming here are a separate story in itself, but the longer I stay, the more my heart has settled here. I've become attached to the people, the moutains, the culture, the mixture of order and chaos, and my large surrogate family comprised of both nationals and foreigners. This place is becoming my home. As a photographer when I first came here, there seemed to be interesting things to photograph everywhere, and indeed from a purely visual stance there is. My house is surrounded by hundred year old traditional buildings, tall hills, terraced rice fields, and on clear days, the surreal, awesome, Himalayas. While these things still stir me and inspre me, as time went on, I began to see past the visual stimuli and search for images with more depth and resonance, something that transcends light, texture, and colour. I began seeking images that tried to express my heart for this place, and while this did help me to create some stronger images, I found that when I showed them to people back in Canada, they would like the image but miss the story. There was something that was being missed. I wanted to have a visual means to communicate my love for this place.