When I travelled to Siem Reap, Cambodia, earlier this year I visited Angkor Wat and many other surrounding temples, hiding amidst the thick jungle. But the Indiana Jones scenery is not all what these temples are famous for, rather, for me, it is the symbolic mythology inscribed in the walls and structures what makes them enigmatic. The entrance leading to one of the temples, for instance, is surrounded with 50 angels and demons standing opposite each other. If their function is to guard the temple, why is it that demons along side the angels guard the temple together- why evil joins good to counter more evil? Soon I learned why. Without evil, non of us would know how to identify good.
An analogy is to be drawn between the Angkor Wat demons and angels and the London riots last August and the Peckham Wall of Peace, which stands tall today thanks to the London riots. If we compare the Peckham Wall of Peace with the London riots we are essentially looking at two twins, children of the same parents, only one turned good while the other, well, evil. Riots were started by delinquent youths, post-its written by peaceful youths; riots ware spread via social media and messaging, peace was spread via messages on post-its; there was a sense of community and brotherhood between the angry rioters, there is a sense of community and a common bond of peace linking all individuals by the post-its.
A fine line separates good an evil, and minor events identify which line we pick; a simple post-it can become a profound wall mosaic while a simple spark can light the whole forest. Are you going to blow air into the fire or are you going to contribute a mosaic-tile (post- it) to the community? To make the right decision in this matter remember that a fire’s worst enemy is time while’s a wall’s worst enemy is uniformity- choose anger and you will enter in fire’s realm choose reason and you will enter the wall’s realm- the former energizes but exhausts you while the latter calms you but keeps you among the average. To stand out make your wall a mosaic of who you are, a painting of what you see or a phrase summarizing your beliefs.
The Peckham wall of peace is a beautiful initiative commissioned to Garudio Studiage by Peckham Space with the financial help of the Southwark council. Involving many youths, it symbolizes community’s ‘good’ side of the coin. The post-its were an original initiative that started during the Riots from people that felt upset and emotional towards all the innocent victims that suffered. Today it is a permanent wall you can enjoy both as Art and as a written memorial. Enjoy!
*I am dedicating this article to my Macedonia’s Independence Day- 08.09.1991-08.09.2012