- What does visual peacemaking mean to you?
Despite our differences, people are just people, everywhere in the world. It’s when we come to see others like ourselves and when we recognize the connectedness of all humanity that we can truly begin to move toward peace and, to me, that’s what visual peacemaking is all about. It’s about embracing the power of visual media to bring people together, break down stereotypes and move toward unity, understanding, and mutual respect.
- What motivates you to be a peacemaker?
Today’s world is united by media. Particularly visual media. However, much of it in the world today serves to propagate stereotypes and demonize those who come from different cultures or faiths. But we all have common ground as fellow human beings, and there is beauty in every culture that deserves to be celebrated.
My own faith is one that tells me to live at peace with all people, and as a visual artist, my goal is to use my work in a positive way. To promote unity between people instead of division, and understanding instead of hatred and fear.
- How does your camera get you to reflect on your world and your life?
We as photographers do not create art out of nothing. We don’t take a blank canvas or a piece of paper and fill it with whatever we want. We must take the real, literal world around us and see it in a unique way. We must interact with real things and real people, and we must feel something significant about them. When we are successful, we create images that communicate our own personal perspective and move others to also feel something. We literally capture the world the way we see it, and that, to me, is what makes photography so uniquely powerful and beautiful.
- What do you like to photograph best?
My work has always been strongly focused on people and cultures, and I think that is extremely important in visual peacemaking. However, above all, I desire my work to communicate with people and to cause them to feel something, no matter what subject matter that may involve.
Nicole Gibson is an award-winning photographer based in Arizona. She won First Place in the 2010 International Photography Awards, was published in the 2010 Lucie Annual book, and has been honorably mentioned in the 2011 Awards. Nicole’s work has also been published in Photoshop User Magazine and B&W Magazine. Her work has been sold to Zondervan and Bethany House Publishers, used by various non-profit organizations, and represented by India Picture stock agency. Nicole is also the Director of Visual Peacemaking for Peace Catalyst International.
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