The fakir sings a love song for peace in times of war. Can peace be the voice of dissent? -- Mitali Chakravarty, A Love Song for Peace
With an openly-declared call for nuclear alert blaring in the headlines of newspapers, we bring to you reminders from the past of what hatred and war, nuclear holocausts can do to humanity. Recalling the need for peace and for solidarity with all of the human race, we have here a selection of writing from different parts of the world — people who have been writing for peace even without the war that now darkens our own Earth and further impacts humans, living conditions and the climate.
Here is what climate experts said way back in 2017: “The climatic consequences would be catastrophic: global average temperatures would drop as much as 12 degrees Fahrenheit (7 degrees Celsius) for up to several years — temperatures last seen during the great ice ages. Meanwhile, smoke and dust circulating in the stratosphere would darken the atmosphere enough to inhibit photosynthesis, causing disastrous crop failures, widespread famine and massive ecological disruption.
“The effect would be similar to that of the giant meteor believed to be responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs. This time, we would be the dinosaurs.” How much worse will it be now, five years later while we are already impacted by rising water levels and climate change?
We start our presentation with the past impact of a nuclear blast on humans and nature.
Surviving Hiroshima : Kathleen Burkinshaw is the daughter of a woman who survived the Hiroshima blast. Burkinshaw suffers neural damage herself from the impact of the bomb that her parent faced. She has written a book called The Last Cherry Blossom recounting her mother’s first hand experiences. Her novel has been taken up by the United Nations as a part of its peacekeeping effort. She has been actively participating in efforts to ban nuclear weapons, including presenting with Nobel Laureates. Click here to read the interview.
Commemorating Hiroshima: Poetry by Suzanne Kamata that brings to life August 6th and the impact of the bombing on the victims and the devastation around them. Click here to read.
Oh Orimen! A poem in Nepalese about a victim of the blast written by a sculptor, Manjul Miteri, who while working on the largest Asian statue of the Buddha in Japan visited the museum dedicated to the impact of the blast. The poem has been translated to English by Hem Bishwakarma. Click here to read.
Mushroom Clouds: Poetry by Michael Burch that reflects on Enola Gay and the Bikini atoll. Click here to read
Surviving More Wars…
Our Children poetry by Bijan Najdi, translated from Persian by Davood Jalili. Click here to read.
How Will They Know by Sybil Pretious commemorates the Remembrance Day that mark the end of the first world war. Click here to read.
Soldiers & Missives Poetry by Prithvijeet Sinha. Click here to read.
In a Land Far From Home: A Bengali in Afghanistan, an excerpt from an account by Syed Mujataba Ali, translated from Bengali by Nazes Afroz. Click here to read.
Unveiling Afghanistan: In Conversation with Nazes Afroz, former editor of BBC and translator of a book on Afghanistan which reflects on the present day crisis. Click here to read.
Bundu, Consoler of the Rich is a story based on memories of the Partition by Nadir Ali, translated from Punjabi by Amna Ali. Click here to read.