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This essay examines the role of artistic expressions which, in their own rights, are works of imagination and cultural production—as a process of resolving conflicts and restoring peace.
This means that while these works of art may not in themselves bring immediate resolutions to conflicts, they are catalysts of peace and their roles cannot be downplayed in societies where works of imagination and cultural productions hold forth.
THEORETICAL BACKGROUND: AN INTRODUCTION For many years, a significant number of research scholars in diverse academic disciplines have been propelled to engage in peace and conflicts resolution studies and research in response to conflicts, wars, displacements, and other inhuman conditions in many parts of the world.
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In effect, a poet or musician who lives in a conflict area or war-torn zone might be inspired to create works that will speak against the inhuman conditions and deaths that occur in the area.
In this case, the artist becomes a voice for people whose voices may be barely heard in such conditions.
These views suggest that beyond confrontations between two parties, there must be causes of confrontations which are often followed by harsh outcomes and repercussions.
From O’Connell’s view, the most common repercussion is violence which, in a bid to resolve and end its effects, conflicts resolution process is engaged in order to restore peace.
To be clear, artistic expressions referred to in this essay are poetry and music.
This essay will focus on the poetry of Ben Okri, Uche Peter Umez, Audre Lorde, and the musical works of Nigerian All Star Ensemble, The Beatles, and Todd Rundgren because of their works’ have thematic relevance in this discourse.
However, some have argued that the mere absence of war or conflict does not suggest the existence of peace (see Okorie 2016; Wallensteen 2002).
According to Okorie (2016, p.8), “peace is now measured by how state citizens living in a country are compared to other societies.” From the foregoing, it is pertinent to note that being a process; some of the conflict resolution strategies do not in themselves guarantee peace.
This also underscores the significant place of the arts in peace activism.