On May 12th, the Permanent Mission of Japan held the second “Peace Is…” event at the United Nations Visitors Lobby. The “Peace Is…” event series was designed to have each event feature a Japanese artist based in New York who would use art and culture as a gateway to allow anyone to casually think about what peace means to them. The Permanent Mission of Japan hosts these events in collaboration with the United Nations Department of Information (UN DPI) and the Permanent Missions of other like-minded member states.
The second “Peace Is…” event was co-hosted by the Permanent Mission of Argentina to the United Nations and featured guitarist Shiro Otake, who studied Argentinian folk music under the renowned Argentine folklorist, Atahualpa Yupanqui. Among the attendees of this event were the Ambassadors of Argentina and Colombia, and the Director for Strategic Communication at UN DPI, Margaret Novicki (MC).
In his opening remarks, Ambassador Koro Bessho stated, “The fact that a Japanese guitarist living in New York for 29 years will sing about Hiroshima in Spanish is an expression of the UN’s multiculturalism.” Following Ambassador Bessho’s statement, Ambassador Moritan of Argentina also gave remarks, saying that music is a universal language, and that it is extremely significant that lyrics written by Yupanqui about his fascination with Iwate and Hiroshima will be sung at the United Nations by Mr. Otake, who also composed the music for the song.
Over 200 guests came to the event, and postcards where guests could write their messages of peace in their native languages were collected this time as well. Additionally, the 130 postcards collected from April’s event were affixed to a banner and displayed at this month’s event for guests to look at.
Photo Credit: Tokio Kuniyoshi