It’s probably because I usually walk around the V&A Waterfront with my shopping blinkers on, but I didn’t notice this until very recently:
I did some Google research and found that it’s actually the symbol of a worldwide movement against violence called The Non-Violence Project.
The project aims to educate kids on how to resolve conflict without having to resort to violence. I can’t help but think that sometimes adults are just past that point where they’ll ever change their perspective on life. I hear people often say things like “oh well, what’s the point in changing now?” or “at my age, I’m just so stuck in my ways you know” - so catching them while they’re young seems like a much better option, doesn’t it?
The project was first established in Sweden in 1993 and from there it has opened offices across the US as well as in England, Brazil, Germany and they even found a home here in SA back in 1999. Then in 2010, during the SA Soccer World Cup, they implemented the Futbol for Peace program and also trained about 150 Safety School Officers in Johannesburg and Cape Town. At the same time the V&A Waterfront played host to an exhibition showcasing interpretations of the Non-Violence symbol by prominent soccer players like Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon and the German captain Michael Ballack, all in aid of creating more awareness.
The knotted gun was actually originally created by Swedish artist Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd as a tribute to John Lennon’s vision of peace after the Beatles singer was shot in 1980. It was initially placed at the Strawberry Fields memorial in Central Park, across the street from where John Lennon lived with his wife Yoko Ono. Then in 1988 a bronze version was also placed outside the UN headquarters in NY. Since then a further 30+ knotted guns have found their way to strategic spots around the world, including our very own V&A Waterfront.
To show some support to this great initiative, why not give them a Like on Facebook or follow them on Twitter. OR even better, add your face to their Imagine One Billion Faces for Peace campaign at www.iobffp.com. Also check out their website for more info on ongoing happenings.