Center for Strategic Communication

[ by Charles Cameron — what can these two stunning performances tell us about conflict and / or peace? ]

I’m not sure if I’ve said it here before, but conflict resolution is pretty much the same as peace making, hence my title for both parts of this post, Blessed are the conflict resolvers (Matthew 5.9). In the second part of this post, I’d like to shared with you two stunning and highly stylized situations in which peace and conflict are brought together by sheer art.

Battle as dance, from Carlos Saura‘s Carmen — in the aftermath of a gambling disagreement, the jealous rivalry of two men over the young female lead bursts into violent dance:

And …

The battle of songs, from Breuer and Telson‘s Gospel at Colonus. Oedipus, played here by Clarence Fountain and the Blind Boys of Alabama, at the end of his days, wishes to enter the city of Colonus and find rest and the peace prophesied for him at last — the people of Colonus, knowing him accursed, try to resist him:


What can we learn from these two examples of conflict circumscribed within the parameters of art?

For comparison, here are two reports of the stylized Beating Retreat ceremony at the Wagah Border crossing, jointly performed each evening by the Indian Border Security Force and Pakistan Rangers and aptly described as a “synchronized display of stomps and shouts” — with some suggestive comments about the rivalry between the two nations in each.

From Michael Palin:

and from Voice of America: