Whenever anyone is taken from us through violence, something we can never measure is lost with them. John Lennon’s death made us poorer and more vulnerable but Yoko Ono has been determined to keep their message alive in the public mind. Liverpool’s free exhibition, Double Fantasy, on until 3rd November 2019, is part of that.
I smiled to see that today’s children still draw John Lennon and associate him with love and peace, but how much better if he were still alive today, making points amplified by his fame in that clear, caustic, memorable way?
Our need is keen. If children are given a wall to scribble on, such as this one at Double Fantasy, plus some crayons and a little encouragement, the hope and brightness we see here streams effortlessly out. But this child was drawing oblivious that someone had seen fit to write a political slogan above her in another language claiming a disputed territory. It seemed ironic: a reminder, if we needed one, that peace isn’t all airy fairy – it has to engage with those who think their current contention outweighs the rights of children to enjoy being children.
I wish I could share these pictures for Lines&Squares with a child’s innocence, without further comment, as I had hoped when walking through Double Fantasy, but I can’t. Perhaps I’m not meant to.
One of the things the exhibition asks is that we keep our eyes open when, from our relative position of safety, we want to flinch away.
In sharing pictures for peace, I wanted to highlight all the world’s conflicts, rather than ‘just’ the one foremost in today’s news, dire though it may be. We have to look beyond the relatively few things our parochial newspapers think we should know to see a global perspective. After searching, I came up with Vision of Humanity’s Global Peace Index. Viewed on a decent sized screen rather than a smartphone, it’s a great way to compare indicators affecting peace by country and learn more about the world we share.