It has been 25 years since we opened this learning and conversational space, both intercultural and interdisciplinar, called the International Master in Peace, Conflict and Development Studies. Since then, students and professors from all continents have got together year after year in order to stablish a dialogue about the different forms of making peace(s), following the legacy of our foundator Vicent Martínez Guzmán. The International Conference 25 years making peace(s) is conceived precisely to celebrate each of these encounters: a celebration for dialogue, transformation and peace.
To celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the International Master in Peace, Conflict and Development Studies, we have chosen an origami crane as a symbol of the many years making Peace”s”. Behind this figure, there is a hidden story that has a tight relation with the cultures of peace and we want to share it with you all.
The origami is a spiritual art with centuries of history based on the creation of beautiful paper sculptures. For those who make it, it is an intimate moment in which they go through a mental process that brings them calm, patience and makes them more conscious of their presence in the universe. It favours, in turn, expressivity, emotional relief, attention, self-knowledge, and relaxation.
One of the most characteristic symbols of peace in relation to origami is the crane, better known in Japan as tsurus. Behind this symbology, there is the story of Sadako Sasaki, a little girl who witnessed the atomic bomb in her hometown, Hiroshima. As a result of the irradiation from the bomb, she was diagnosed with leukemia. In the hospital, her friend Chizucho told her a story about tsurus: according to legend if you have a wish and you make one thousand tsurus, the gods will grant it.
The girl’s wish was to heal, as well as that the war was over, so she began to make the tsurus. Unfortunately, she died before she could finish one thousand. Sadako left 644 paper cranes, but her friends from the hospital decided to finish her work, which would become internationally known as a symbol of peace. Each year, thousands of children from all over the world send their handmade cranes to continue this message of peace.
Thus, in the celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the Master, we have picked up the crane again to keep alive the desire for peace in the world.